CITY OF WASHINGTON (October 5, 2021)—Steve Baldwin, controlling owner of the Washington Spirit’s is resigning, Baldwin said in a released statement on Twitter “In recent days, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the future of the Washington Spirit and the vision I laid out just three years ago. I have also listened–to team leadership and staff, investors, fans and players–to concerns about the Spirit’s workplace culture and our prior coach’s conduct.”
Baldwin said that he have decided to resign as CEO and Managing Partner of the Washington Spirit, effectively immediately. He further said that Club President Ben Olsen will have full authority over all club operations.
Washington Spirit former coach Richie Burke was fired after an investigation into alleged violations of the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) anti-harassment policy. The team was also banned from league governance matters. An independent investigation was commissioned by the NWSL into the Spirit organization after The Washington Post reported allegations that players were verbally and emotionally abused.
“After considering the substance of the report, and taking into account prior actions of the Spirit, the NWSL’s board of governors has determined that the Spirit and its ownership have failed to act in the best interests of the league,” the league announced last September.
Team officials had 14 days to reply to the findings–Baldwin’s resignation was submitted within the 14 day response due date.
The Spirit announced on Aug. 10 that Burke was stepping down as head coach because of medical reasons and would be reassigned to a front office position. He was suspended after the allegations detailed in the Post. The league said it would keep the details of the investigation confidential to protect those who came forward. Baldwin’s resignation comes amid calls for his resignation and for him to sell his interest in the team.
Source: Washington Spirit’s CEO.