San Diego Wave denounces former employee's allegations of poor work environment under Jill Ellis

A former San Diego Wave employee has alleged on social media that the club “perpetuated discrimination against women and demonstrated a complete disregard for (employees’) long-term mental health.” The club has denied the allegations.

In a post on X, former Wave video and creative manager Brittany Alvarado, or someone posting on her account, alleged that, of more than 30 employees who were fired or quit since the team began operation, nearly 75% of them were women, and that the negative treatment of employees was part of an unhealthy work environment fostered by Wave president Jill Ellis.

The post called for the league to remove Ellis from her position at the Wave. Alvarado’s LinkedIn shows that she began working for the club in March 2023, with a follow-up post from Alvarado’s account stating that she resigned on June 7.

The Wave posted a response on their social media denying the allegations.

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

The Wave added that they are reviewing the situation and “intends to pursue all legal avenues available to appropriately address this matter”.

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The Wave intends to pursue legal matters following the allegations (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Alvarado further alleged that the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has not fully implemented the recommendations from both the Sally Yates-led and the joint NWSLPA investigative reports from 2022, which detailed systemic unhealthy and abusive work environments at both the league and club levels.

The Wave recently fired head coach Casey Stoney on June 24. Stoney had previously led the team to a league-first finish in the 2023 regular season and third overall in 2022. In 2024, the Wave was 3-2-6 at the time that Stoney was dismissed. Stoney responded on her social media that she was disappointed she “wasn’t given the time to bring a Championship to San Diego”.

While not directly linking Stoney’s firing to her decision to speak, Alvarado cited Stoney in particular in her post as a positive influence.

An NWSL spokesperson said: “The safety, health, and well-being of everyone associated with our league is our highest priority. We take serious any and every report of potential misconduct, hire qualified independent investigators to review those allegations thoroughly, and act when allegations are supported by the facts uncovered. We have mandated corrective action in every instance where reports have been corroborated, up to and including the removal of individuals who do not live up to our values and standards.

“We encourage anyone with information of potential wrongdoing to report that misconduct to the League Safety Officer. Alternatively, individuals may report anonymously via Real Response, by texting 872-259-6975.”

Former U.S. women’s national team player Sydney Leroux has also criticized Ellis in the past when she was USWNT head coach from 2014 to 2019.

In 2020, Leroux told The Crack Podcast, hosted by DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu: “I liked her as a person, not (as a coach). …we won in spite of (Ellis). She’s not good for people’s mental health, that’s for sure. The best thing was for her to go.”



Full Time: Was Casey Stoney’s firing too harsh?

 (Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

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