NEWARK, NJ – After years of bad press, Phil Murphy’s Sky Blue soccer team was renamed Gotham FC, but the name change didn’t stop the horrific treatment of women on the team by the organization.
Phil Murphy is a co-owner of the women’s soccer team and this week, he responded to reports of abuse of players as disgusting, completely reprehensible and unacceptable.
For years, Sky Blue FC and Gotham FC have been under scrutiny for the mistreatment of women in the organization. The team is part of the National Women’s Soccer League.
The league’s investigation focused on Gotham’s former General Manager Alyse LaHue.
“Our investigation also uncovered examples of inappropriate conduct by club personnel. In June 2021, on behalf of a Gotham FC player, the Club’s Director of Operations submitted to the NWSL a complaint alleging that Gotham’s General Manager Alyse LaHue had harassed a player.223 A third-party investigator conducted an investigation, and on July 8, 2021, the League concluded that “Ms. LaHue’s behavior in connection with [the player] was improper and inappropriate, and a violation of league policies Gotham subsequently terminated the GM’s employment,” the league said in a 319 page report.
It also focused on former coach Christy Holly who was fired in 2017 after being abusive to players and engaging in a relationship with another player. After leaving Sky Blue, Holly made headlines again while coaching for Louisville.
“I’ve not read the entirety of the report, but I’ve read enough of it, and it’s disgusting,” Murphy said on Wednesday. “I hope the league will get out ahead of this and will put reforms in place, put steps in place so that stuff like this could never, ever happen again.”
Murphy has been an owner in the franchise since 2006. Under his management, the team has been cited for poor treatment of players and substandard living conditions.