Former Racing Louisville FC coach’s alleged sexual misconduct highlighted in report
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An independent investigation into emotional abuse and sexual misconduct within the National Women’s Soccer League was released Monday, with a section featuring the former head coach of Racing Louisville FC.
Christy Holly was fired by Racing Louisville FC in Aug. 2021. No reasons were given for Holly’s firing at the time.
After former NWSL players reported allegations of harassment and sexual coercion of former Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames, U.S. Soccer commissioned an independent investigation into the NWSL.
The report was released Monday with a section featuring Holly, stating the former Racing Louisville FC coach had “engaged in long-term and egregious sexual misconduct against a player.”
Holly is said to have engaged in sexual contact, abuse of power and retaliation.
Players within Racing Louisville FC reported “verbal abuse, manipulative behavior and another relationship that created a toxic environment,” according to the report.
The report states Holly had sent inappropriate text messages and sexual pictures to a player that had been drafted into Louisville from Holly’s former team he had coached, Sky Blue FC.
The player said the text messages continued after Holly left Sky Blue, advancing to unwanted sexual contact.
In another incident while the player was with Racing Louisville FC, Holly called her in to a “one-on-one” film session, where the player was told she would be touched for every pass she had messed up, the report states.
The player said Holly had touched the player multiple times, trying to place his hands under her pants and under her bra. When a teammate picked her up following the incident, the player began crying.
Once the player started to avoid Holly, the player states Holly began to verbally abuse her and “made an example” of her in front of the rest of the team.
Multiple players and staff within Racing Louisville FC and Sky Blue FC stated Holly’s conduct was described as “manipulative,” according to the report. Holly was also described with “abusive coaching behaviors.”
The NWSL is in the process of reviewing the report, with the NWSL Players Association also beginning its own investigation.
“We recognize the anxiety and mental strain that these pending investigations have caused and the trauma that many, including players and staff, are having to relive,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “We continue to admire their courage in coming forward to share their stories and influence all the changes necessary to keep moving our league forward. Establishing trust and confidence between the league, its players and other key stakeholders remains a central focus for the NWSL, and we know that we must learn from and take responsibility for the painful lessons of the past in order to move the League into a better future.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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