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Steve Baldwin resigns as Washington Spirit CEO, Minnesota to host 2022 MLS All-Star Game, and more: Freedom Kicks for October 6, 2021

What a week yesterday was.

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Los Angeles Football Club v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Wow, yesterday was A LOT. There was so much news coming from the Washington Spirit and women’s soccer in general. It’s the important news, so we lead with that:

Steve Baldwin resigns from Washington Spirit CEO/Managing Partner position - BRU

Spirit owner Steve Baldwin resigned yesterday as CEO and Managing Partner. He made a public statement in which he appointed new club president Ben Olsen as the person in charge of all soccer operations.

It was initially unclear on whether he intends to sell the team, though great reporting by the Washington Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy and The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer showed that Baldwin is apparently playing hardball with co-owner Y. Michele Kang.

Meanwhile, this news dropped while the Spirit players were at practice ahead of their match tomorrow in Chester against Gotham FC, and the players were not happy at Baldwin’s comments. They released a joint statement that was very blunt and direct so there was no misunderstandings about what they had demanded from him.

Meanwhile, the fallout continues for the Spirit, who have lost a key sponsor and apparently more are considering walking away from the team.

There’s also the investigation into the Spirit, which apparently uncovered repeated violations of NWSL workplace, anti-harassment policies. There’s just a ton going on with the Spirit.

On top of that, three of the four players who have recently spoken publicly about what they have endured with the league were on The Today Show this morning to discuss their stories and why they decided now was the time to come forward. Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly, and Alex Morgan joined Savannah Guthrie for a gut-wrenching interview (Kaiya McCullough was not invited to participate).

Meanwhile, accounts of abuse and harassment have been publicly revealed by players in Argentina, Venezuela, and Australia today. More will come as a result of the bravery of these women, and it’s time for women’s soccer worldwide to have a reckoning and create the systemic change necessary to have a safe workplace environment for all players.

Minnesota to host 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target - MLS

Allianz Field, home of Minnesota United, will be the site of the 2022 MLS All-Star Game next August 10th. The opponent is TBD.

Power Rankings: Portland Timbers keep soaring after Weeks 28 & 29 - MLS

D.C. United climbs into the Top 10 of the MLS Power Rankings this week after a win over Minnesota United and a last-second loss at Orlando City.

Uefa games not monitored for racism this season as negotiations continue - BBC

UEFA for some reason has not agreed to a deal with the group that monitors racism at matches, so there has been no match monitoring so far this season. This is beyond unacceptable and needs to be fixed immediately.

Finally, Julian Araujo, who spent his youth playing for the USMNT, has decided to file a one-time switch with FIFA to represent Mexico going forward.

That’s all for today y’all. Let’s rally around these women to be the change they desperately deserve.