July 16, 2024

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San Diego Wave Denounces Former Employee’s Allegations of Poor Work Environment Under Jill Ellis

San Diego Wave Denounces Former Employee’s Allegations of Poor Work Environment Under Jill Ellis

This story has been updated to reflect additional comments from NWSL players.

A former San Diego Wave employee alleged on social media that the club “continued to discriminate against women and showed a complete disregard for the mental health of (employees) over the long term.” The club denied the allegations.

A post on Wave’s former video and creative director, Brittany Alvarado, on X claimed that of the more than 30 employees who have been fired or resigned since the team began operating, nearly 75 percent were women, and that the negative treatment of employees was part of an unhealthy work environment fostered by Wave CEO Jill Ellis.

The post called on the league to remove Ellis from her position at Wave. Alvarado’s LinkedIn account shows she started working at the club in March 2023, with a later post from Alvarado’s account stating she resigned on June 7, 2024.

The band posted a response on social media denying the allegations.

“San Diego Wave recently became aware of a social media post written by a former employee that contained inaccurate and defamatory statements about the club,” the statement said.

The Wave added that it is reviewing the situation and “intends to pursue all available legal avenues to appropriately address this matter.”

The Wave intends to pursue legal matters in the wake of the allegations (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Alvarado also alleged that the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has not fully implemented recommendations issued by both Led by Sally Yates And the joint 2022 NWSLPA Investigative Reportswhich included details of unhealthy and abusive work environments at league and club level.

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The Wave recently fired head coach Casey Stoney on June 24. Stoney had previously led the team to a first-place finish in the league in the 2023 regular season and third overall in 2022. In 2024, the Wave was 3-2-6 at the time Stoney was fired. Stoney responded on social media. She was disappointed that she “wasn’t given enough time to bring the tournament to San Diego.”

Although she did not directly link Stoney’s firing to her decision to speak out, Alvarado specifically cited Stoney in her post as a positive influence.

“The safety, health and well-being of everyone associated with our league is our top priority,” a WSL spokesperson said. “We take any report of potential misconduct seriously, appoint qualified independent investigators to thoroughly review such allegations, and act when allegations are supported by the facts that have been uncovered. We have implemented corrective action in every instance where reports have been confirmed, including removing individuals who do not live up to our values ​​and standards.”

“We encourage anyone with information about potential violations to report these violations to the league’s safety officer. Or individuals can report anonymously through Real Response, by texting 872-259-6975.”

Former U.S. women’s national team player Sydney Lauro Ellis has also been critical of the team in the past when she was the U.S. women’s national team coach from 2014 to 2019.

In 2020, Leroy said on “The Crack Podcast,” hosted by DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu: “I loved her as a person, not (as a coach). … We won despite (Ellis). She’s not good for people’s mental health, that’s for sure. The best thing for her was for her to go.”

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Loro expressed her support for Alvarado on Wednesday, writing on x“It’s the courage of one person to start telling their story in the hope that one day more people will feel comfortable enough to tell theirs.”

U.S. women’s national team star and Wave forward Alex Morgan said she was disappointed to hear about the allegations made by former Wave employees.

“As players, we have worked hard to build a team surrounded by an inclusive, positive and safe environment,” Morgan wrote on X“But it’s important to me that we create that environment for both players and staff across the organization. Equality in the workplace is something I have been and continue to advocate for.

“I want to be proud of what we’re building at The Wave, but there’s clearly a lot of work to be done.”

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(Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)