Orlando Pride's Amanda Cromwell, Sam Greene Placed on Leave Amid Misconduct Probe

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2022

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 19: Head Coach Amanda Cromwell of the Orlando Pride looks on during a game between Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on March 19, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The Orlando Pride announced Tuesday they placed head coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant coach Sam Greene on temporary administrative leave.

Orlando Pride @ORLPride

Orlando Pride Announces Amanda Cromwell and Sam Greene Placed on Administrative Leave <a href="https://t.co/l8p8lBA61Y">pic.twitter.com/l8p8lBA61Y</a>

"The decisions come following recommendations from the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and the NWSL Players Association (NWSLPA) joint investigative team," the team said. "This is an interim step while the investigation is ongoing, and no final determinations or conclusions have been reached."

The NWSL provided additional context, saying the investigation is focused on "alleged retaliation" that would violate the league's policy to prevent and eliminate workplace discrimination, harassment, and bullying.

The Athletic's Meg Linehan reported the NWSL has frozen any movement for members of the Pride squad amid the investigation.

Seb Hines will serve as interim head coach of the Pride, who are ninth in the NWSL table after taking eight points from their first seven matches.

Cromwell and Greene's leaves of absence follow a wider reckoning across the league that involved alleged misconduct within multiple clubs.

The Washington Post's Molly Hensley-Clancy reported in August 2021 that then-Washington Spirit head coach Richie Burke had verbally abused his players and made racially insensitive remarks in the past. The Spirit's issues extended beyond the coaching staff and created what Hensley-Clancy called a "toxic work culture."

In September 2021, Linehan reported on allegations of sexual coercion and abuse against Paul Riley, who was the head coach of the North Carolina Courage at the time and had previously coached the Portland Thorns.

One month later, OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore confirmed Farid Benstiti was "asked to resign" in July 2021 after he made inappropriate remarks toward his players. Reign star Megan Rapinoe later said Benstiti used fat-shaming during one interaction with the team.

The multiple scandals resulted in the resignation of NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird, and the launch of an independent investigation by U.S. Soccer overseen by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Still, a new report from Hensley-Clancy laid out how much work remained to address larger structural issues.

She wrote last November how players from the Chicago Red Stars approached U.S. Soccer in order to alert officials as to alleged verbal and emotional abuse by coach Rory Dames. Dames kept his job at the time, with United States women's national team star Christen Press telling Hensley-Clancy she had "been told to be quiet, that this was fine."

In April, the Houston Dash announced they suspended head coach and general manager James Clarkson "in light of initial findings, received this week, from the joint NWSL and NWSLPA investigation that was launched last year to review current and historic complaints of discrimination, harassment and abuse."