Red Stars majority owner Arnim Whisler issues statement lacking accountability and merit
There have been calls by different fan groups for Whisler to sell his majority stake in the Red Stars and certain minority owners have expressed their displeasure in Whisler’s lack of accountability.
Red Stars majority owner Arnim Whisler broke nearly three months of silence Thursday since reports of allegations that former coach Rory Dames verbally and emotionally abused players.
“I have spoken with many players, and the experiences they have told me about are unacceptable,” Whisler said in a statement in response to the Washington Post reports. “I am further heartbroken this week after learning about the allegations from former youth players that involved the Red Stars former coach at the youth club he founded. There is no place for abuse of any kind in soccer — or anywhere.”
The Post also reported this week about accusations of misconduct against Dames dating to 1998, when he was a youth team coach in the suburbs. An unnamed player also claimed that Dames groomed her for a sexual encounter once she turned 18.
“The past few months have been a time of deep humility, contrition and reflection for me,” Whisler continued. “I have always strived to ensure that everyone hired in our environment is of high character and shares our positive values. But we have not always succeeded. For that, I am sorry.”
Whisler said he has made changes to the Red Stars’ organizational structure to ensure a safe environment for players, including adding new investment partners and expanding club oversight and management.
Fan groups have called for Whisler to sell his majority stake in the Red Stars, and minority owners have expressed their displeasure with him.
“For far too long, money, wins, reputation, sponsorship and the comfort of those in power has been prioritized over the health, wellness and safety of players,” minority owner Colleen Mares tweeted Tuesday. “I got involved because I wanted to see change and to hold people accountable in this space who are falling short.”