The Chicago Red Stars board of directors voted to remove Arnim Whisler as chairman of the board on Wednesday in wake of Sally Q. Yates’ independent investigation into allegations of past abusive behavior and sexual misconduct in women’s professional soccer was made public.
The move comes just two days removed from the Yates report. According to the team statement, the club will “transition him out of his board seat immediately with the Chicago Red Stars (Chicago Women’s Soccer Academy, LLC) and to codify his removal from any further participation with either club or board operations.” Whisler had previously announced on Tuesday he would remove himself from the NWSL board of governors.
You can read the complete statement from the board below:
“The Board of Directors of the Chicago Red Stars voted this morning to remove Arnim Whisler as Chairman of the Board, to transition him out of his board seat immediately with the Chicago Red Stars (Chicago Women’s Soccer Academy, LLC) and to codify his removal from any further participation with either club or board operations. The Board was deeply disappointed after reading the Yates report and believes the club cannot move forward in rebuilding trust with players, staff and the Red Stars community with his continued involvement. Job one for board members is to continue building a culture where players, and all who work at the club, feel that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Lastly, the board wants to extend its gratitude for all who displayed such bravery in sharing their stories. Thank you for coming forward.”
Reaction and response to the Yates report has been ongoing with NWSL players and franchises making statements and calling for change. Chicago Red Stars supporters group Chicago Local 134 issued a statement after the Yates report included extended details about Whisler and former head coach Rory Dames. Several allegations have been reported on Dames since his resignation in November 2021. The supporters group will refrain from “all in-person events including attendance at games, merchandise purchases, and other Red Stars events that directly or indirectly benefit Arnim Whisler.”
The board of directors consists of six members, five of which come from the new addition of investors in 2021. Dean Egerter is an original investor and part of a group that invested in 2007 to help create the club.
Though a sale of shares and disinvestment was not specifically mentioned in the initial statement from the board, communications for the club told CBS Sports “the board wants to help facilitate a sale of Arnim’s shares in a timely process, which is both prudent and when complete, can lead Red Stars players, coaches and front office staff to a better future.”