The following is a statement from the 107IST board, the Timbers Army Steering Committee, and the Rose City Riveters Steering Committee.
As supporters of the Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers we welcome, at long last, moves toward concrete, visible accountability through the firing of Gavin Wilkinson and Mike Golub.
We hope this sends a strong message to everyone working in sports, especially women’s sports, that — no matter your job title, salary, tenure, or share in ownership — the time for toxic, abusive, and coercive behavior in the workplace is over.
We recognize that Merritt Paulson has stepped aside from his duties with the Thorns. We hope that he has truly been removed from day-to-day operations of both teams. We acknowledge that while it may be a complex and long process, we will continue to call for the sale of both teams and the sale, divestment, or removal of interest/control from all professional, development, and youth soccer leagues by Peregrine Sports.
We remain aware that these actions have come only after the public disclosure of information that was previously known by this club, the National Women’s Soccer League, and United States Soccer Federation for years. These men and the individuals they protected and promoted were allowed to cause harm to players, staff, and this community for far too long. The findings in the investigation completed by the team led by Sally Yates confirms their persistent misconduct damaged the club, league, and game. They had no place in our club.
It should not have taken so many players and staff submitting reports multiple times and to multiple agencies before sharing their stories publicly because of a complete lack of action. It should not have taken several public investigative reports, in-depth articles and a documentary. It should not have taken relentless pressure from supporters. It should not have taken a year-long formal investigation.
We thank all the individuals who came forward — and we know that many more have been, and still are, suffering in silence. We support you and we believe you; you have always deserved safe and welcoming workplaces. We will not stop speaking out and pushing for improvements on your behalf.
#RCTID #BAONPDX #CutTheRotOut