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Allegations of Abuse At the Center of Rory Dames’ Resignation

Past allegations of abuse made by former players have shined a spotlight on the recent resignation of the former Red Stars’ coach.

Rory Dames Abuse Allegations Red Stars Coach
Photo: Soobum Im/USA Today Sports

Rory Dames resigned from his post as Chicago Red Stars’ head coach this past weekend. The press release went out at an odd time, just after midnight locally.

In the release, Dames stated he was “refocusing my attention to my family and future endeavors”. It was also odd a coach that had taken his team to finals in three straight seasons was leaving. Now, the timing of the resignation makes a lot more sense.

Allegations of abuse stemming back as early as 2014 have been made by former players against Dames. Why this reporter, and many others, had not sufficiently reported on those allegations seems to be because the United States Soccer Federation did not do anything about it.

In Molly Hensely-Clancy’s article from The Washington Post, she lists multiple allegations of abuse made against Dames throughout the years.

The first came from former Red Stars and current U.S. National Team player Christen Press. Press stated she had gone to the United States Soccer Federation as early as 2014 with claims that Dames had created a toxic atmosphere within the team. Then-USSF president Sunil Gulati dismissed her claims at the time.

Press then sent in a trade request in 2017 due to Dames’ treatment of her before going to USSF with another complaint in 2018. US Soccer conducted an investigation into Dames’ alleged violations of the NWSL’s policies against “emotional misconduct”.

More Players Come Out

Press was not the only Red Stars player to come out with claims of abuse against Dames. Jen Hoy, who played with the Red Stars from 2013-17, recalled incidents where she and others on the team were victims of Dames’ abusive behavior.

Another player who spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed Dames crossed the line when it came to the player-coach relationship. Violations of this included texting her at all hours, asking her to spend significant time with him outside of training/games, and retaliating against her when she eventually tried to pull away from him.

Red Stars’ Silence is Deafening

Arnim Whisler used to own 100% of the Red Stars but now owns less of the team alongside 33 other investors. The lack of sufficient response from the Red Stars, or any from Whisler himself, has been deafening.

The press release came out in the middle of the night. Another Red Stars response is generic, plain, and does not have a specific name associated with it.

It seems the organization knew Rory Dames was out even before Saturday’s match. A pending investigation into what can only be construed as further claims, makes this assumption all but true.

Are there further claims of abuse to be made? We will continue reporting on this as more comes to light. All we do know is, this remains a very serious issue within the NWSL.

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Lead soccer reporter at On Tap. I write about the Cubs and Bulls too. I also write a sports business newsletter @SportDollars. You can follow me on Twitter @just_wasik. West Ham fan.

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