A Letter from Arnim Whisler, Founder of the Red Stars
My family and I have been supporting women’s soccer since the founding of the Chicago Red Stars in 2007. From the outset our goal has been to build a sustainable league for women to achieve their professional dreams in a positive and healthy environment. We have dedicated our hearts, time and resources to accomplishing those goals, but in spite of this commitment, we have not yet reached all of our goals.
I have spoken with many players and the experiences they have told me about are unacceptable. I am further heartbroken this week after learning about the allegations from former youth players that involved the Red Stars former coach at the youth club he founded. There is no place for abuse of any kind in soccer -- or anywhere.
The past few months have been a time of deep humility, contrition, and reflection for me. I have always strived to ensure that everyone hired in our environment is of high character and shares our positive values. But we have not always succeeded. For that, I am sorry.
I will continue to be accountable for what happens in the club, but I have also made changes to the organization that will allow us to do better. Specifically, in addition to adding new investment partners, we have expanded club oversight and management to include new executives and a newly formed board of directors with an advisory board. Our Chief Business Officer, Vicky Lynch, runs the Club as our lead executive and reports to the board. Going forward our HR executive will also directly report to the board. Our newly appointed Associate GM, former Red Stars player, Michelle Lomnicki, will ensure that the head coach will no longer have primary responsibility for contracts and player personnel matters. We, and the NWSL, have also implemented other changes to our processes and personnel to ensure we have a safe, supportive environment for players and staff.
This message is not the end of the discussion; our work is not done. We commit to listening more actively and to supporting our players, staff, and our fans. We pledge to better align our actions with our values. Our board and our management will guide the Red Stars into the future and are focused on building a world-class club that prioritizes player and staff health, safety, and wellness. We appreciate all of your ongoing support and your commitment to moving forward together.