US women’s national team player Lindsey Horan spoke out against the latest abuse and misconduct allegations against former Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames while training in Australia for two upcoming international friendlies.
Rory Dames resigned from the NWSL team late on Sunday after allegations of verbal and emotional abuse came to light, marking him as the fifth coach in the American league to leave this year under those circumstances.
During the press conference ahead of the two-game friendly series, ESPN asked Horan how the news has been addressed in the international camp, to which she answered candidly: “It’s hard.”
“It’s hard here in camp, here in Australia, to really try and do so much,” the Portland Thorns star added. “Obviously, you sit here and read these kinds of things and you continue to be like, ‘Why?’
“Like, how are there so many issues like that going on in the NWSL? And to be fair, it’s going on all over the world.
“You sit here and you just want some positivity, and I think the positive that we can take out of it is that these coaches are either being released or fired or resigning themselves because they know it’s about to come.”
“It’s a lot to take in,” she continued. “Obviously, we’re here trying to focus on a task, but it’s hard — it’s hard to see all these things come out and in our NWSL and to kind of have to live through these stories of these players and hear it out of their voices.”
The former coach led the Red Stars to the league final on Saturday, losing 2-1 to the Washington Spirit. Less than 48-hours later, Dames turned in his resignation via a club statement, making no note or comment on the ongoing allegations.
The news reached headlights after the Washington Post published a report the following Monday that detailed the cases of harassment and emotion from the coach to certain players.
“I think the bravery from all these women coming out and speaking about it is incredible, and I’m very thankful for that,” Horan explained. “I think all of us are thankful for that because it’s opening up these doors for other players to speak about it.
Horan is no stranger to the situation. She has previously spoken openly about her experience with ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach Farid Benstiti, alleging that he made misogynistic comments and body shamed her. The situation, she said, pushed her to a point of losing an unhealthy amount of weight.
“I guess I’ve also had a personal experience, so it’s unfortunate to hear these things. But again, while we’re here in camp, obviously we are focusing on the task at hand; but it’s really hard waking up and seeing this article coming out again about something happening in the NWSL.”
The USWNT arrived in Australia on Tuesday and is set to play a friendly in Sydney on Saturday before heading to Newcastle for the second game.