LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Current and former Racing Louisville FC players reacted to the letter the club's president wrote Wednesday where he apologized to Erin Simon.
Racing Louisville FC President James O'Connor said the organization has learned from its mistake and commended Simon for coming forward as part of the investigation.
"And while our former coach was terminated within 24 hours of us being alerted to the behavior, we know that wasn’t enough and that we failed our locker room by creating a space where this behavior could occur," he said.
Current player Emina Ekic questioned how former coach Christy Holly initially got hired.
"He didn't have a coaching license," she said. "So that's like, obviously red flag number one; shouldn't be coaching a professional women's soccer team with like, probably the bare minimum."
While O'Connor said they are not the same club as they were in August 2021, they will cooperate with the ongoing NWSL/NWSLPA joint investigation and "welcome recommendations to improve our organization for the betterment of players."
"We have worked hard every day since then to ensure a safe environment that puts players in a position to succeed," O'Connor said. "This includes implementation of club-wide anonymous reporting services and a re-evaluated hiring process for staff."
He said they owe it to the players and community to prove it.
Former player Taylor Otto said a lot of the players went to management and addressed concerns.
"They said, 'Oh, we'll look into it. Oh, are you sure that happened? Oh, well, what was the context?'" she said. " So you're telling us that you've changed, you're listening, and you're going to address these issues when players come to you, and you hope they feel safe coming to you. But how do you expect your players to feel safe coming to you about these problems when you did absolutely nothing when honestly, it was probably one of the worst-case scenarios.”
Another former player, Julia Ashley, said they spoke to O'Connor and HR about other things that had accumulated over time.
"And so for them, obviously the sexual abuse is what is being brought up right now because it is the most prevalent. It is the biggest part of it," she said. "But all of these small things are getting pushed aside. And they're not being recognized."
O'Connor also apologized to past and present players, and to fans.
Anyone who wishes to contact the Joint Investigation Team can do so here.
People may also reach out to the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) or the National Women's Soccer League Player's Association (NWSLPA) directly O'Connor said.
FOR PLAYERS' LIVE REACTIONS TO THE LETTER WATCH BELOW
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