KC Current fire head of medical staff for violating NWSL's non-fraternization policy

The Kansas City Current have fired Carlos Jimenez, the head of its medical staff, for violating the NWSL's non-fraternization policy.

The news was first reported by The Athletic on Wednesday. The outlet reported Jimenez violated the policy by having a relationship with an unidentified Current player. The team confirmed Jimenez's firing to USA TODAY Sports.

"When we learned of his actions in violation of club and league policies, he was immediately terminated. We remain committed to making sure our policies and practices ensure a safe space for our players and our staff," the team said in a statement.

The league's non-fraternization policy, enacted in 2022, applies to all NWSL players, coaches, owners, managers, trainers and any employees or other associated personnel of NWSL and its member clubs or teams. It is in place to "minimize the risk of actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest and promote fairness and professionalism."

Under the policy, Jimenez would be considered a "supervisor" since that is defined as someone who can "responsibly direct (staff), including as to performance and medical decisions, address concerns or exert influence over such actions in the interest of the NWSL or a team."

Generally view of game balls before the match between Bay FC and Kansas City Current at CPKC Stadium.
Generally view of game balls before the match between Bay FC and Kansas City Current at CPKC Stadium.

"NWSL Supervisors may not engage in, develop, continue or pursue any romantic and/or sexual relationships or encounters, even when consensual, with any employee (including NWSL players or trialists) over whom they currently have direct or indirect supervisory authority or management influence," the policy reads.

The non-fraternization policy was one of several the NWSL enacted following the firing of Paul Riley in 2022, the former North Carolina Courage head coach who was alleged to have sexually harassed and coerced players for a decade.

A report released by former U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates found the league and U.S. Soccer failed to take action against the misconduct, and an investigation commissioned by the NWSL found "widespread misconduct" directed at players. As a result, the league instituted a non-fraternization policy ahead of the 2023 season, along with other workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying policies.

Jimenez was hired by the KC Current in December 2023 after he spent last season with the Washington Spirit as a physical therapist, and he was also a physical therapist with U.S. Soccer from December 2019 to December 2021. He is the second person in the league to be fired for violating the non-fraternization policy this season. The Houston Dash fired goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson in March after an NWSL investigation and he was suspended by the league through the 2024 season.

The KC Current are in first place of the NWSL with 4-0-1 record.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: KC Current fire Carlos Jimenez for violating non-fraternization policy