The league did not specify Kerr’s transgression, but people familiar with the matter said she violated pandemic protocols by traveling when Spirit players were told by the medical staff to remain in market. Kerr had been told by a team official, however, that it was okay to travel, one person said.
That trip, those people said, contributed to the Spirit forfeiting the Sept. 12 home match against OL Reign for what the NWSL said were “breaches of the league’s medical protocols.”
Washington also forfeited its Sept. 4 game at Portland after four players tested positive. The team was fined $25,000 for protocol violations.
Kris Ward, the Spirit’s interim coach, addressed Kerr’s suspension by saying: “We maybe thought things were one way and rules are written one way but interpreted a different way. We had talked to [the NWSL] and said, ‘We don’t feel like this is fair or accurate.’ There was definitely some confusion and consternation on our end with the league.”
On her Twitter page, Kerr wrote, “YES I am a fully vaccinated player and NO I have NEVER tested positive for Covid.”
The probe widened to include allegations of a toxic work culture for female employees amid an exodus of women from the club in the middle of the season. Along with the turmoil and allegations, a struggle for control of the eight-year-old team has ensued between lead investors Steve Baldwin and Y. Michele Kang.