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November 7, 2022
The NWSL hired a new commissioner in 2021. Lisa Baird, now NWSL commissioner, would receive emails from both Shim and Farrelly asking for a new investigation into Riley’s conduct. Farrelly, a Thorns player at the same time as Shim, also filed a complaint against Riley in 2015.
Baird would thank both players for their emails, but ignore their requests for an independent reinvestigation. She would also text Malik after Riley threatened to resign over league scheduling.
“I had a long talk with [Riley] and I strongly urged him not to resign and I am glad you didn’t accept it,” Baird wrote, according to the Yates report.
Just weeks after Baird helped convince Riley to not resign his position as head coach of the Courage, the Athletic released an article with interviews from both Shim and Farrelly that detailed their experiences under Riley at the Thorns. After the article made the allegations public Riley would be fired by the Courage, games would be canceled and Baird would resign her position.
Paulson promises to investigate the club’s handling of Riley in 2015 in an open letter, following the Athletic article’s release, and Wilkinson is placed on administrative leave from his Thorns duties, but continues his work for the Timbers.