Former employee accuses San Diego Wave and Jill Ellis of narcissistic leadership

July 9 – NWLS side San Diego Wave FC, only in their third season of competitive action, have denied accusations that made against them and club president Jill Ellis (pictured) of creating a hostile workplace.

The US women’s game is only just emerging from a series of sexual harassment and gender inequality scandals that have forced a rethink of how the game is coached and managed and by whom.

The accusations are a body blow to a club that has been at the forefront of establishing a new way forward.

The club responded in a statement to the accusations made by a former videographer and other members of staff, saying: “San Diego Wave FC has been made aware of a recent social media post by a former employee that contains inaccurate and defamatory statements about the club. Not only does the post contain a fabricated email, but the claims made therein are categorically false, including the ones directed at our President Jill Ellis.”

“San Diego Wave FC currently is reviewing this situation and it intends to pursue all legal avenues available to appropriately address this matter,” the club added.

The accusations were made by former videographer Brittany Alvarado who resigned last month.

In a social media posting she said: “Despite its public proclamations, the organization often perpetuated discrimination against women and demonstrated complete disregard for their long-term mental health.

“Since the team’s inception, over 30 employees have been fired or quit, 75% of them being women, underscoring the deep issues within the club,” she added.

Pointing the finger directly at Ellis, she said the treatment of many staff “has been nothing short of life-altering and devastating to our mental health. She has compromised countless lives to advance her narcissistic personal agenda, fostering an environment where abusive behaviors among her subordinates are allowed to flourish.”

Ellis responded in a statement saying: “What we do is all about fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and excellence. The false accusations in [last Wednesday’s] post are not only personally damaging but also take away from the incredible work and progress we’ve achieved together as a team.”

The culture complained about by back-office staff does not seem to match that of the playing department.

Alex Morgan, a former co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team with more than 200 caps for her country, said that she was “disappointed to hear about the allegations made by multiple former Wave FC employees today. As players, we have worked hard to build a team that is surrounded by an inclusive, positive and safe environment.

“But it’s important to me that we are creating that environment for both players and staff throughout the entire organization. Equity in the workplace is something I have and will continue to advocate for.”

The National Women’s Soccer League also released a statement saying: “The safety, health, and well-being of everyone associated with our league is our highest priority. We take seriously any and every report of potential misconduct, hire qualified independent investigators to review those allegations thoroughly, and act when allegations are supported by the facts uncovered. We have mandated corrective action in every instance where reports have been corroborated, up to and including the removal of individuals who do not live up to our values and standards.”

Alvardo called for the removal of Jill Ellis.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721243954labto1721243954ofdlr1721243954owedi1721243954sni@n1721243954osloh1721243954cin.l1721243954uap1721243954