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Independent investigation says ex-Racing Louisville coach sexually abused player

Rafters at the LouCity FC soccer stadium in Butchertown
Rafters at the LouCity FC soccer stadium in Butchertown

Warning: This story contains details about abuse.

An independent investigation released Monday highlighted accusations of abuse against a former Louisville head soccer coach.

The report found that former Racing Louisville FC head coach Christy Holly engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct against a player during his time with the National Women’s Soccer League team. It described abuse in the league as “systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims.”

WFPL News does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

The investigation, led by former U.S. deputy attorney general Sally Yates, said Holly’s alleged “long-term and egregious” abuse began before he joined Racing Louisville in August 2020 and continued throughout his time with the city’s professional women’s soccer team.

According to the report, he engaged in sexual contact, coercive text messages, abuse of power and retaliation.

It also said that Racing Louisville and Holly entered into non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements after the coach was fired “for cause” in August 2021, and that the team cited those agreements in their refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation. The team did not elaborate on why Holly was fired at the time, nor since.

Representatives for Soccer Holdings, LLC, which owns Racing Louisville and the men’s team, Louisville City FC, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, the NWSL said it would “immediately review” the investigation’s findings.

Last year, U.S. Soccer commissioned Yates to head an investigation into abuse and misconduct in women’s soccer last year.

The NWSL and its players’ union are also conducting a joint investigation into the league. During the 2021 season, four of the league’s 10 head coaches, excluding Holly, either were fired and resigned due to public allegations of misconduct.

Note: If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault or harassment, contact the confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 to be connected to a provider in your area.

This story has been updated to reflect that Racing Louisville FC did participate in the investigation, though not fully.

Jacob is LPM's Business and Development Reporter. Email Jacob at jmunoz@lpm.org.