The women’s soccer team owned by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy Murphy finds itself as part of a scathing report of on the job harassment and sexual misconduct after the National Women’s Soccer League had named three coaches from around the league as the center of an internal investigation.
According to report issued by NJ.com and ESPN, an independent investigation commissioned by the the United State Soccer Federation (USSF) and conducted by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, found that three head coaches, Former NJ Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly, former Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley and former Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames had accused of serious sexual misconduct and abuse.
“It sheds new light on the alleged misconduct by these three coaches, as well as the repeated failures by team owners, U.S. Soccer officials and others to heed warnings and complaints from players about them,” ESPN.
Holly who was most recently the head coach for Racing Louisville FC, was the head coach of Sky Blue FC from 2016-17, a club that is now known as the NJ/NY Gotham FC. According to NJ.com, Yates report provides some salacious details of his tenure with the Garden State soccer club.
“Holly rose from relative obscurity as a volunteer reserve-team coach at Sky Blue Football Club (“Sky Blue”) to become the team’s Head Coach in 2016. His tenure was short-lived, however, as his time was plagued with complaints of verbal abuse and mistreatment (“paranoid, ultra-aggressive, short-tempered, nasty, mean, patronizing, humiliating,” “angry, disorganized, erratic,” and “abrasive on the sidelines”) and allegations of a relationship with a player that caused a toxic team environment. Ultimately, Holly was asked to leave the club abruptly, midseason, because of his “verbal abuse” and his “relationship with a player.” Publicly, however, the club stated the team and Holly had “mutually agreed” to part ways and thanked him,” (Direct quote from the Yate report via NJ.com.
Holly was later accused of similar tactics in Louisville and was quickly fired after an investigation the report says.
The Murphy’s who have owned the team since 2006, deferred comment.
“Gotham FC leadership received the U.S. Soccer (report) yesterday afternoon and is reviewing it in conjunction with the National Women’s Soccer League. We deeply appreciate and are indebted to everyone who came forward to share their experiences and shape the report, including our own players and employees.