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Women describe ‘old boys’ club’ culture at Washington Spirit, as NWSL probes franchise

A National Women’s Soccer League investigation into the Washington Spirit has widened to include allegations of a toxic work culture for female employees, according to four people with knowledge of the investigation, amid an exodus of women from the club in the middle of the season.

The NWSL initially opened its probe into the club after The Washington Post reported allegations of verbal abuse against the team’s former coach, Richie Burke. Employees have since told investigators of a misogynistic, “old boys’ club” culture in the male-dominated organization, including the use of degrading nicknames for female players and staff by a top executive, the four people said.