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Riley: I will fight 'woke' NWSL after permanent ban amid sexual misconduct allegations

20:00 WAT 10/01/2023
Paul Riley North Carolina Courage 2019
The former head coach blasted the NWSL after being banned for life on Monday.

Former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley says he intends to fight "a lot of things" after being banned from the NWSL for alleged harassment and sexual misconduct, although he does not intend to return to the league, which he described as "political" and "woke".

Riley was one of four ex-coaches banned by the league on Monday as the league addressed systemic problems detailed in two separate reports.

The first was the Yates Report, which detailed widespread allegations of abuse in October, before the league and its players' association released its own investigation in December.

Riley was named in the reports with allegations dating back to 2015 when he coached the Portland Thorns. Riley was accused of being a "predator", with players alleging a system of abuse and sexual coercion.

He later went on to coach the North Carolina Courage, who were not informed about any incidents of misconduct during Riley's time in Portland. Courage player Kaleigh Kurtz went on to allege sexual harassment by Riley.

Riley, though, says he intends to fight against the allegations.

"We have a lot of plans ahead to fight a lot of things," Riley told WRAL News. "Absolutely never had any intention of coaching in NWSL again. The political, woke, cancel culture of the league says it all."

Riley, Christy Holly, Rory Dames and Richie Burke were all permanently banned from the league due to allegations made in the two reports, while the league levied several big suspensions and fines.

Riley's two former clubs, the Thorns and Courage, were both hit with fines, with Portland levied a $1 million punishment and the Courage being fined $100,000.