Over the last month, a series of reports have detailed the squalid living and practicing conditions that players for the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC—including USWNT legend Carli Lloyd—have had to endure. As The Equalizer and Once A Metro reported in July, and Deadspin reported earlier this month, the team’s practice facility doesn’t have running water. One housing situation that the team’s owners, which include current New Jersey governor and former Goldman Sachs asshole Phil Murphy, provided for players has been described by a former assistant coach as the “most disgusting place you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Murphy released a statement in the wake of the reports, saying that his players “deserve better” and that he would make management “improve the situation.” That was a month ago. According to a post by supporter’s group Cloud 9, nothing has changed in the intervening time. Players still only have access to port-a-potties, and the supposed stop-gap solution of a tiny shower in an RV is still the only shower at the facility.
Cloud 9 characterized it as a “band-aid on a broken leg.”
Cloud 9 called for GM Tony Novo to step down, which seems reasonable given how long things have been this bad. A Cloud 9 organizer told ThinkProgress, “It’s depressing having to cheer for these players every game knowing how bad things are for them. So we’re doing this exclusively for them, because when players don’t want to come here, what do we have left? Who is going to want to stay here? Who is going to want to come here?” The NWSL is not in a good place right now, and Sky Blue FC’s failure to provide basic sanitation a month after promising to is an extremely ominous sign for the future of the team and the league.