Todd Boehly, the part-owner of the Dodgers and Lakers, is reportedly in talks to purchase NWSL's Washington Spirit, who is in the midst of a power struggle and fallout of an abuse scandal, per the Washington Post.
He reportedly made a “credible offer” to buy the team from Steve Baldwin, who recently resigned from his roles as the CEO and managing partner. Spirit players previously called for Baldwin to sell the team to fellow co-owner, Y. Michele Kang. Per The Athletic, Baldwin's offer to Kang was "at an overall $22 million valuation," and sources told the outlet that she was ready to write the check.
But, he then reportedly rescinded the offer. Kang's representation is still involved in ongoing conversations with Baldwin.
This comes as the club and league face widespread turmoil. Washington announced last month it had fired coach Richie Burke for cause after he was initially suspended for allegations of verbal and emotional abuse in August. According to the Post, the league's investigation into Burke expanded to allegations by several female employees of a toxic “old boys’ club” culture, which included a male executive using degrading nicknames for female players.
The coach was reportedly fired for creating a toxic work culture for female employees and harassment, per a Post investigation. In the report, former players said Burke “made racially insensitive jokes” and described him as being “unbelievably volatile.”
The Post's Molly Hensley-Clancy reported on Friday evening that Spirit executive Larry Best resigned following a league investigation that found that he knew about Burke's alleged abusive behavior. Additionally, sources told the Post that Best also used degrading nicknames towards female staff members and players.
Earlier in the day, the National Women's Soccer League Players Association announced that the league has met all eight of their demands, including creating an investigation committee for transparency. This comes in wake of the Spirit turmoil and allegations against ex-NC Courage coach Paul Riley.
A damning report from The Athletic detailed former players' accusations of sexual coercion and Riley was subsequently fired after the report was published. Additionally, former players said Riley made inappropriate comments about players' weight and sexual orientations, with allegations spanning three teams and three leagues, beginning in 2011.
Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim both shared incidences with The Athletic of when Riley allegedly sexually coerced the former players. This included an incident when Riley allegedly led the two players to his apartment in 2015 after a night of drinking and pressured them to kiss each other while he watched.
NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird resigned a day after Riley was fired.
More on NWSL Scandal:
- There’s No Hiding for NWSL’s Culpable Leadership
- Thorns Place General Manager Gavin Wilkinson on Leave Amid NWSL's Riley Scandal
- Washington Spirit Players Ask Steve Baldwin to Sell The Team to Y. Michele Kang
- Report: Former Players Accuse NC Courage Coach Paul Riley of Sexual Coercion
- NWSL Players Pause Games After Six Minutes of Play: 'This Is Not Business As Usual'