NWSL

Houston Dash suspend head coach James Clarkson following investigation into abuse

Lizzy Becherano
Houston Dash head coach James Clarkson has been suspending amid abuse allegations.
Houston Dash head coach James Clarkson has been suspending amid abuse allegations. / Trask Smith/ISI Photos/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

NWSL’s Houston Dash suspended head coach and general manager James Clarkson on Tuesday due to an ongoing investigation reviewing "current and historic complaints of discrimination, harassment and abuse."

The team revealed an interim coach will be named in the coming days, but await the final results of the investigation before deciding Clarkson's future.

“The suspension comes in light of initial findings, received this week, from the joint NWSL and NWSLPA investigation that was launched last year to review current and historic complaints of discrimination, harassment and abuse. An ultimate decision about Clarkson’s future with the Dash will be made based on the final results of the ongoing investigation," a statement read.

"As an organization, our highest priority is creating and maintaining a safe and respectful work environment for our players and staff, which we believe is critical to our success on the pitch," the Dash said in a statement.

"The Club has made counseling services available to all members of the organization interested."

Clarkson’s initial dismissal was recommended by the league and its players association.

"Players made a promise to ourselves and future generations to transform our League - not through words, but with our actions," NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke said in a statement. 

"This shows that our joint investigation is doing the work of systemic transformation. The work continues, and we commend Players for speaking up and speaking out."

In conjunction with the joint NWSL and NWSLPA investigation, the U.S. Soccer Federation launched its own independent review, and hired acting attorney general Sally Yates to conduct the matter. 

Clarkson first joined the Dash ahead of the 2019 season, arriving from the Houston Dynamo academy, where he served as director. 

His suspension follows the 2021 firings of North Carolina Courage's Paul Riley over accusations of sexual misconduct toward players when at the Portland Thorns, Washington Spirit’s Richie Burke following allegations that he created an abusive work environment, and Red Stars manager Rory Dames amid reports that he verbally abused players.

facebooktwitterreddit