Last weekend, we got more information about the circumstances that led to Washington Spirit manager Kris Ward’s firing, outside of the team’s results.
Ward detailed his perspective of the previously reported incident at Spirit training that led to his dismissal, in an interview with The Athletic on Friday.
In response, the Spirit players recited a statement of their own after their game against the Houston Dash.
Ward admitted to “getting upset and yelling” at a player in a moment of “frustration” during a practice.
“This is the first time where I just kind of used volume instead of pulling a player aside by myself and going through it,” Ward added.
Ward noted that other players approached him after the incident, expressing concern at what had occurred.
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That sentiment was clearly stated by the players on Saturday.
Co-captains Andi Sullivan and Aubrey Kingsbury began media availability with a collective statement from the team’s players.
“Firstly, we are frustrated that this is necessary given our history,” Sullivan said. “Secondly, we are angered by Kris Ward’s answers in the piece by The Athletic.”
“We know his interview to be a completely inaccurate recollection of a serious situation and furthermore the apology offered to us last Friday demonstrates a misalignment in his words and actions toward this team. The players fully support the decision of the club to relieve him of his duties as head coach.”
The NWSL will be investigating Ward’s conduct during the series of events that led to his firing, which should provide internal answers at least.
The league has a number of other investigations still open, including into the behavior of head coaches James Clarkson and Amanda Cromwell.
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