Women’s Football League (NFL) commissioner Lisa Bird has resigned under pressure over a coach’s handling of sexual conduct allegations, the league said Friday night.
Bird’s resignation came after she announced the postponement of the weekend’s women’s league games across the country.
“The League has received and accepted Lisa Bird’s resignation as its representative,” the League said in a statement, without naming a replacement for Bird.
Bird’s resignation came a day after North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley over what the team described as serious allegations of misconduct.
“This week and most of the season has been very traumatic for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the role I have played,” Bird said Friday, before her resignation.
Bird was appointed League commissioner in February 2020, succeeding Amanda Duffy. The resignation of 58-year-old England coach, Riley, came after the website “The Athletic” described his wide-ranging sexual misconduct which has spread to various clubs and leagues since 2010.
Riley was the second league coach to be fired this week after the league terminated Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke’s contract following an investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse.
International stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were among the critics of the League’s handling of Riley’s allegations.
Morgan tweeted: The bottom line is that you have to protect your players. Do the right thing, League.
In turn, Rapinoe tweeted, “Men protect men who abuse women.” I’ll say it again, men protect men who abuse women. Let’s start from scratch and roll their heads.