Racing Louisville FC issues response on former coach’s sexual misconduct allegations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Following an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct within the National Women’s Soccer League, Racing Louisville FC has issued a response into allegations involving former coach Christy Holly.
On Wednesday afternoon, the organization said they will be cooperating with the NWSL and NWSL Players’ Association investigations and said “appointing Christy Holly as Racing Louisville FC’s first coach was a mistake.”
Holly was hired by Racing Louisville FC in Aug. 2020 and was fired in Aug. 2021 with little explanation given by the team at the time of his firing.
A report released on Tuesday stated players within Racing Louisville FC reported “verbal abuse, manipulative behavior and another relationship that created a toxic environment.”
Erin Simon, one of Racing Louisville’s former players who came forward in the U.S. Soccer investigation, was commended by the team “for her bravery.”
“While our former coach was terminated within 24 hours of us being alerted to the behavior, we know that wasn’t enough and that we failed our locker room by creating a space where this behavior could occur,” the response from Racing Louisville FC President James O’Connor states.
The Louisville City FC fan club, the Louisville Coopers, reacted quickly to the investigation findings, apologizing to Racing Louisville players in the wake sexual misconduct allegations.
A letter to players posted to the Coopers social media Monday night said, “Please let it be known that if no one else will fight for you, or if anything is going on, come to us and we will fight right alongside you.”
“We have to stop this, this is systemic,” Louisville Coopers President Herman Quinn said Wednesday. “This is deep and it is disgusting and it needs to stop. And people need to be held responsible for their actions.”
The Coopers called for fans to protest at Wednesday night’s home match for the men’s team, Louisville City FC.
Fans were asked to remain silent during the first half and to not purchase any food, drink or merchandise inside the stadium.
Read the full statement from Racing Louisville FC President James O’Connor below:
“The U.S. Soccer-released Sally Yates report which was published earlier this week served as a harsh reminder that appointing Christy Holly as Racing Louisville FC’s first coach was a mistake. We have learned from that mistake, and we apologize to Erin Simon, to our players past and present and to our fans.
We commend Erin for her bravery in coming forward as part of U.S. Soccer’s investigation. And while our former coach was terminated within 24 hours of us being alerted to the behavior, we know that wasn’t enough and that we failed our locker room by creating a space where this behavior could occur.
We have worked hard every day since then to ensure a safe environment that puts players in a position to succeed. This includes implementation of club-wide anonymous reporting services and a re-evaluated hiring process for staff.
We will cooperate with the ongoing NWSL/NWSLPA joint investigation and welcome recommendations to improve our organization for the betterment of players. The Joint Investigative Team may be contacted at NWSL_Investigation@cov.com or you may reach out to the NWSL or NWSLPA directly or through any other club and league reporting channels.
We are not the same club that we were in August of 2021. We now owe it to our players and community to prove it.”
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