San Diego Wave refutes allegations of workplace abuse

Former San Diego Wave employee Brittany Alvarado alleged in a social media post Wednesday that there was a pattern of abusive behavior by club president Jill Ellis.

The team denied the allegations in a statement, calling them “false and defamatory.” It also defended the former U.S. women’s national team coach.

Alvarado claimed this had “devastating” consequences for the mental health of herself and other employees and said Ellis “doesn’t belong in this game”.

“Ellis’ actions have changed her life,” wrote Alvarado, a former video and creative manager for the Wave. “She prioritizes personal gain over the well-being of her employees, and creates an environment that enables abuse.”

According to The Wave, Alvarado’s accusations against both the team and Ellis are “categorically false.”

“San Diego Wave FC has been made aware of a recent social media post from a former employee that contains false and defamatory statements about the club,” the team’s statement said.

“The claims made therein are patently false, including those directed at our President Jill Ellis.”

Alvarado wrote in her post that she moved from Charlotte to San Diego last year to work on the Wave coaching staff under Casey Stone. Casey Stone was fired on June 24 after a seven-game winless streak.

Alvarado further alleged that the Wave is obscuring its public image while perpetuating “discrimination against women,” and claimed that nearly 75% of the 30-plus employees who have left the club since its inaugural season in 2022 have been women.

San Diego added in a statement that it plans to “pursue all legal avenues to address this matter.”

Wave captain Alex Morgan expressed her disappointment on social media over the allegations against the club, stressing the importance of creating “an inclusive, positive and safe environment for all players and staff.”

Following Alvarado’s allegations of misconduct, two more former employees have made similar claims on social media.

A 2022 investigation commissioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation and led by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates revealed problems within the NWSL related to accountability, player safety and a system that failed to address player complaints.

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