San Diego Wave refute allegations of abusive workplace culture

Former San Diego Wave employee Brittany Alvarado alleged a pattern of abusive behavior by club president Jill Ellis in a social media post Wednesday.

The team denied the accusations in a statement, calling them “inaccurate and defamatory,” and defended the former United States women’s national team coach.

Alvarado alleged “devastating” mental health impacts for herself and other employees and said Ellis “has no place in this game.”

“Ellis’s actions have been life-altering,” wrote Alvarado, a former video and creative manager for the Wave. “She prioritizes personal gain over employee well-being, fostering an environment that enables abusive behavior.”

The Wave said Alvarado’s accusations against both the team and Ellis are “categorically false.”

“San Diego Wave FC has been made aware of a recent social media post by a former employee that contains inaccurate and defamatory statements about the club,” the team’s statement said.

“The claims made therein are categorically false, including the ones directed at our President Jill Ellis.”

Alvarado said in her post that she moved last year from Charlotte to San Diego to work for the Wave coaching staff under Casey Stone, who was fired June 24 amid a seven-game winless streak.

Alvarado further alleged the Wave of masking their public image while perpetuating “discrimination against women” and alleged that nearly 75% of the more than 30 employees who have left the club since its inaugural season in 2022 were women.

San Diego added in its statement that it intends on pursuing “all legal avenues to address this matter.”

Wave captain Alex Morgan took to social media to express her disappointment regarding the allegations against the club. She stated the importance of fostering “an inclusive, positive, and safe environment for all players and staff.”

After Alvarado’s accusations of misconduct, two additional former employees have since come forward with similar claims on social media.

An investigation commissioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2022 and led by former deputy attorney general Sally Yates exposed issues within the NWSL regarding accountability, player safety and a system that failed to address player complaints.