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NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird in Seoul in February 2018. Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced Friday it accepted Commissioner Lisa Baird's resignation, which comes in the wake of widespread detailed accounts from players alleging sexual harassment and abuse.

Why it matters: The league is now without a commissioner in the midst of a growing crisis. It faces investigation and potential sanctions from both FIFA's judicial bodies and U.S. Soccer and was forced to cancel multiple games scheduled for this weekend.

Baird has been a focal point for criticism on the league's handling of the sexual harassment and abuse allegations.

  • Baird implied in a statement she had just learned of the accusations this week following an investigative report from The Athletic.
  • But emails later released by Orlando Pride and U.S. women's national team forward Alex Morgan showed that NWSL leadership was aware of at least some of the incidents for several months.

Driving the news: Multiple NWSL players, after years of silence, recently detailed cases of harassment and abuse, often at the hands of male coaches, Axios' Kendal Baker reports.

  • The North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley on Thursday over allegations of sexual coercion, which span multiple teams and go back more than a decade.
  • The Washington Spirit this week also fired coach Richie Burke following a harassment investigation.

The big picture: The NWSL players' association, which is currently negotiating its first contract, called for an end to "systemic abuse plaguing the NWSL" and demanding safety and economic rights for the players.

Go deeper: FIFA opens investigation into NWSL allegations of abuse

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - Sports

NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated against COVID-19

A vaccinated section of fans at a New York Islanders game. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL announced in a press release on Wednesday that all but four players are vaccinated.

The big picture: With only four out of more than 700 players unvaccinated this season, the NHL has a 99% vaccination rate, according to NPR.

Oct 14, 2021 - Sports

Gymnasts urge Congress to remove U.S. Olympic committee's directors

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols. Photo: Saul Loeb/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Four American gymnasts asked Congress to dissolve the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee board of directors on Wednesday over its handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, per the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols allege in a letter to Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) that the USOPC learned of the Nassar abuse reports in 2015, around the same time as USA Gymnastics, but "took no investigative action," according to WSJ.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.