KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The NWSL and the Kansas City Current are already reviewing mistreatment allegations from a draftee’s mother.
The Current’s 2023 third-round pick Mykiaa Minniss’ mother Nicole alleges that her daughter paid for travel costs and food out of pocket and a lack of communication from the organization throughout preseason camp with the Current before she was waived on February 28th.
At halftime of the Current’s home opener against the Portland Thorns, NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said the allegations were immediately brought to her attention.
She talked with Current owners Angie and Chris Long on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
“I think we share a commitment in that we all take this really seriously, we want to understand what happened in this circumstance. We’re incredibly sad that that was her experience and we want to see how we can improve in the future and learn from this,” Berman said.
“I have a lot of confidence with the people that are around the table, both proactively to create positive environments as well as for the people who are prepared to be responsive in real-time when there are challenges and we’re committed to seeing it through.”
“Anytime those moments come up, I trust in the league and I trust in the players’ representatives to that they’ll do their due diligence, and doing things and finding out all the information they need to find out,” Current head coach Matt Potter said after Saturday’s match against Portland Thorns FC.
“I probably don’t know the same details that most know because my focus was on these players and the task at hand but I’ll be sure to give it the attention it deserves because that’s what we should all do, and once we get to a point of finding out all the pieces then I’m sure the club will address it moving forward.”
“If there’s things we can all learn from it, then that’s our responsibility as human beings. We all learn from moments like this.”
The NWSLPA released a statement saying they are investigating the report.
NWSL draftees are trialists that have standard player agreements in order until they sign a contract as a pro. The Current signed five of their eight draftees to contracts.
Berman relayed how she understands that transitioning from college life to professional life can be hard on young players.
“I think this is one of the areas where we can do better as a league,” Berman said.
Berman mentioned the NHL’s Rookie Orientation Program administered by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association that helps rookies adjust to life as a pro.
The commissioner—who has only been in the position for 11 months—worked as a vice president of special projects/corporate responsibility and VP of community development for the hockey league for almost four years.
“I think it’s definitely, at a minimum, a learning experience for us that for next year’s draft, we can do better and help those players to be prepared for the situation.”
The former National Lacrosse League commissioner has an outlook for how the NWSL can do better for its players.
“It was and is to meet them where they are and to understand and acknowledge and recognize the challenges of their experience that doesn’t go away. For the people that went through that, there is no moving past it.
“Our hope would be that they recognize we hear them and that we’re committed to improving it for the future with them as part of the solution as well as for the next generation of players. Everything we’re doing is really about acknowledgment and recognition and then also identifying the ways we can improve their experience, understanding we can’t do everything all at once. And we’re trying to be very strategic and intentional about the areas where we are investing.”