D.C. United players pledge 'to be an ally" for Spirit, NWSL

Players stop the match during the first half of a NWSL soccer match between NJ/NY Gotham FC and the Washington Spirit in a protest at Subaru Park.
© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of allegations of abusive workplace cultures on multiple National Women's Soccer League teams, including the Washington Spirit, players from D.C. United pledged to support to their counterparts in the NWSL. 

The Spirit have faced allegations of emotional abuse against former coach Richie Buke, who was fired last week. The NWSL commissioned an independent investigation into the Spirit organization after The Washington Post reported allegations that players were verbally and emotionally abused.

Spirit majority owner Steve Baldwin announced Tuesday he was stepping down from his position as CEO and managing partner of the franchise. 

United players Paul Arriola, Julian Gressel, and Bill Hamid were some on the D.C. United squad to share a joint statement on their social media accounts that they stand in solidarity with the NWSL players.

United's players called for the NWSL to better protect its players and pledged themselves to build a stronger relationship with the Spirit. Hamid provided a follow up tweet with his statement, tweeting that Baldwin should sell the Spirit.

United players' statement -- which was retweeted on the team's official Twitter account --- ends with them wanting to "be an ally as they advocate for better [NWSL] league structures to protect them from the maltreatment that they have endured."