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A red soccer corner flag with the Washington Spirit shield logo during an NWSL game between Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit on August 22, 2021 at Audi Field in Washington, DC. Photo: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The CEO of NWSL's Washington Spirit resigned on Tuesday following abuse allegations against the team's former coach and criticism of a toxic work environment.

Why it matters: The resignation of Steve Baldwin, who served as controlling owner and top executive of the Washington women's soccer team, comes as NWSL players speak out about cases of harassment and abuse and demand change across the league.

  • The Spirit fired Richie Burke as the team's head coach last week over the abuse allegations.

Driving the news: "While there is a range of opinions on how we got here, and how to move forward, everyone—none more so than me—is committed to improving the club's culture, removing distractions and returning the focus to the players and the pursuit of a championship," Baldwin wrote in his resignation letter.

  • "With that goal in mind, and at the recent request of our players, I have decided to resign as CEO and Managing Partner of the Washington Spirit, effective immediately."
  • Players wrote a letter to Baldwin asking for his resignation, the Washington Post reports.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: The North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley last week over allegations of sexual coercion, which spans across multiple teams and go back more than a decade, Axios' Kendall Baker reports.

  • The league-wide reckoning caused all NWSL games to be cancelled this weekend, and then-commissioner Lisa Baird stepped down from her role.
  • The NWSL also now faces investigation and potential sanctions from both FIFA's judicial bodies and U.S. Soccer.

Go deeper: NWSL commissioner resigns amid sexual harassment, abuse scandal

Go deeper

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

Oct 18, 2021 - Sports

NHL suspends Evander Kane for breaking COVID protocols

Photo: Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

The National Hockey League (NHL) announced Monday that it suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for breaking the league's COVID-19 protocols.

Why it matters: The league also announced that it has not substantiated allegations of sexual and physical abuse by Kane's estranged wife, Deanna. The league had previously said it could not substantiate her allegations that Kane gambled on NHL games.

3 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.