NWSL stars hit out at lacrosse league for claiming to be first to complete season with no positive Covid tests

Bella Bixby has joined the Twitter spat over Covid testing
Bella Bixby has joined the Twitter spat over Covid testing - (Copyright SIPA USA/PA Images)
13:22pm, Tue 11 Aug 2020
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National Women’s Soccer League players have criticised the US Premier Lacrosse League for claiming to be the first to complete a season with no positive Covid tests - a feat the NWSL achieved weeks ago.

Before the NWSL Challenge Cup began, Orlando Pride were forced to withdraw due to positive coronavirus tests. But throughout their tournament, which ended on July 26, the soccer league set strict protocols and as a result had no positive results throughout.

However co-founder and player in the lacrosse league Paul Rabil said in an interview with NBC: "It starts at the top with our medical team who installed a great protocol... We're now the first league to pull this off from start to finish without any COVID threats."

He later corrected himself on Twitter and wrote: “Should’ve disclosed that we shared the same site [Zions Bank Stadium, Utah] as the @NWSL — who finished their tournament before us. hat tip to the leaders in sport.”

Despite Rabil eventually giving credited to the NWSL, players in the women’s league have now shared their frustration on social media.

Portland Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby wrote: “This is getting really old. @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL PULLED IT OFF FIRST @NWSL ”

While OL Reign player Jess Fishlock tweeted: “How does that false advertising feel for you guys? Hope it feels GOOOOOOOD. #NWSL WE. WERE. LITERALLY. IN. THE. SAME. STADIUM. BEFORE. YOU”

Another OL Reign star Bethany Balcer wrote: “cool...these people are clueless and are STILL uninformed about women's soccer and it drives me mad. WOMENS SOCCER WAS THE FIRST LEAGUE BACK WITH ZERO POSITIVE TESTS OF COVID and y'all still don't get it and the fact you don't know is disappointing”

Sky Blue FC player Nicole Baxter said: “This is so exhausting. And no, him eventually correcting himself and crediting the @NWSL doesn’t make me any less tired”

Chicago Red Stars defender Hannah Davison wrote: “Sick of this disrespect. #WomenBallToo @NWSL literally played a whole month long tournament on that field behind you before you even landed in Utah. Oh yeah, and 0 positive Covid-19 test results.”

This latest criticism comes after NBC were slammed in July for not including women’s teams in a poll about famous sport stars from Chicago.

And back in June multiple media outlets were criticised after they claimed the men’s Major League Soccer was the first professional league to return in the US when in fact the NWSL returned a week before them.

The MLS returned on July 8 and the NWSL took the field on June 27.

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