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  • 03/30/2022 12:21 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    By Dominique Whittaker

    One of the many strategic initiatives set by the 107IST board in 2021 was the creation of a Member Code of Conduct. This would be separate from the Away Travel Code of Conduct, and it would outline the expectations of members, behaviors/actions that are not tolerated, and what repercussions could be faced as a result. This effort kicked off by evaluating the existing away code of conduct, the PTFC Fan Code of Conduct, as well as independent research of other instances of codes of conduct across other supporters groups and within other sports.

    At the 2021 annual general meeting (AGM), the Member Code of Conduct was a breakout session. Two separate groups of members provided their initial thoughts, reactions, concerns, and feedback about whether a Member Code of Conduct was warranted, and what the scope should be and what it shouldn't be. Many of these members then raised their hands to continue being a part of the effort to draft a code of conduct in the weeks following the AGM. In collaboration with a group of volunteers, including AGM breakout session attendees and the BIPOC Advisory Group, we produced a draft document that was shared with the Timbers Army Steering Committee and Riveters Steering Committee for feedback. It was also sent to 107IST members to view and provide feedback in the newsletters during May 2021. After a few additional rounds of feedback, as well as sharing it with the Front Office during monthly meetings, it was finally presented to the board to vote on adopting in October 2021 and presented at the 2022 AGM. You may have noticed the soft rollout recently as you browsed your member profile; going forward, when renewing your 107IST membership, you'll be asked to review and acknowledge that you have read the Member Code of Conduct and agree to adhere to it as a 107IST member.

    If you haven't read the document recently, or just want a refresher of what the contents of the Code of Conduct are, you can read it here. This is intended to be the starting point that articulates who we are and what we expect from one another, and potential repercussions for being found in violation of this Code of Conduct. The next step is to contract with experts in grievance process work and to establish our grievance process. We are currently receiving bids on this work and will keep members updated on next steps in this regard.

    Thank you to everyone across the Timbers Army Steering Committee, Riveters Steering Committee, BIPOC Advisory Group for their input and feedback. Special thanks to Nicholas Garner, Kris Goss, Marty Ochs, Marrion Skinner, Ashley Holmer, Dirk Bokeloh, and David Auxier for their time and thought in putting this document together.

  • 03/23/2022 2:31 PM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    In April, we are collecting items for three fabulous local organizations:, Rose Haven, and Portland Community Football Club. Truly, there is something for everyone here. If you’re not attending games at this time, you are more than welcome to drop items at Fanladen during member hours, or contribute directly to these organizations.

    Love book shopping? We have the donation drive for you. We are collecting books for The Youth Organized and United to Help ( mission is to motivate, inspire and empower youth, family and educators to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by challenging existing systems and structures. Please donate new books that are culturally specific and relevant, and support authors from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. New fiction and nonfiction books are needed for ages 6-18. will distribute books directly to families and students and via their partner organizations. If you also want to support a local black-owned bookstore, consider shopping at Third Eye Books.

    Going by a Fred Meyer or Target on your way to a match? Looking for something quick and easy that will have a big impact locally? Rose Haven shelter needs deodorant, women’s underwear and leggings of all sizes, and bras sizes 32-38 A-C.

    Are you a soccer player? Did your soccer playing kids recently outgrew their cleats? This donation drive might be the one you’re looking for. We are collecting new and gently used cleats, shin guards, soccer socks, indoor shoes, soccer balls, athletic tape, and shin guard holders for the Portland Community Football Club. A wide variety of sizes are needed to fit kids from ages 5-18. Your donations will support a larger drive for PCFC, organized by the Center for Social Change and Community Involvement at Lewis & Clark College.

    Donate at Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) before matches, or during Wednesday night membership hours. Check the newsletter and social media for updates about opening times. With 2 home Timbers games and 3 home Thorns matches in April, there’s plenty of time to donate to all three. We’ll even accept your donations for April drives at the Thorns Challenge Cup opener on 3/30. Questions? Contact

  • 03/12/2022 2:32 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, March 9, the 107IST board met with the PTFC Front Office. Both parties came to the meeting to openly share and actively listen. The meeting was a hybrid of in-person and virtual.

    The Front Office shared initiatives and action items they’ve started to implement over the last six months, since The Athletic article was published. While the 107IST board cannot share what the FO presented, we can say that the FO will be making these items public in the coming weeks.

    They also shared their Supporter Engagement Plans for hearing from more folks throughout the season. They are planning to host more events to engage a wider range of fans. These events will be set up to increase the accessibility of the club’s leadership as well as more opportunities for season ticket holders to ask questions of the club.

    The 107IST board shared a sample of the member feedback we’ve received over the last six months, as well as the results of surveys we have conducted. Our goal has been to represent members, and to emphasize that the reports of sexual assault and domestic voilence associated with our club has had a very significant negative effect on our community and the relationship with the club.

    The 107IST board strongly urged that the FO communicate their plans to supporters and season ticket holders as soon as possible.

    Overall, the meeting was a productive way for both parties to re-engage and be able to communicate face to face. While we have disagreements about past actions or inactions, we were able to have a civil discourse about the past and offer up suggestions on both sides for how to move forward. We are unsure what the cadence of meetings will be moving forward. That is something for both groups to continue to discuss, but the board will keep membership apprised of upcoming meetings, topics discussed, and anything else we can share.

    The 107IST board remains committed to calling for transparency from the club and holding them accountable. We are engaged and are working to influence the systemic change we think will benefit the club.

  • 03/09/2022 10:00 AM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    Discrimination weakens our communities. Oppression creates needless suffering. Cruelty has no place in modern society.

    The 107IST, Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters strongly oppose state or local government actions that deprive a group of equal protection under law. While states and other jurisdictions create needless laws, ordinances and executive orders that ostracize, discriminate, bully, intimidate and terrify, our members will continue to stand with the groups, individuals, families and children who are affected. We stand opposed to racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and discrimination of any kind, no matter where it may be occurring. We are the Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army — and our voice is strong, consistent and nationwide.

    Specifically, we condemn the anti-transgender actions, laws and orders that are currently in place in Florida, Texas and Tennessee, because they actively suppress and harm the transgender population and families in those states. We are alarmed by the growing number of laws and policies that prevent participation in sports, block access to gender-affirming medical care, and take away basic rights from transgender individuals. We oppose any legislation or executive actions that harm transgender children and adults.

    To support efforts that counter this harmful and tragic legislation, the 107IST, Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters have committed to the following:

    • 107IST has made a donation of $107 to the following local transgender advocacy organizations in each of the three states:
    • 107IST Away Travel is including links to these transgender advocacy organizations on Timbers Army or Riveters away travel ticketing events that are held in these three states. This will inform and allow donations to be made by individuals who choose to do so.
    • The Rose City Riveters will send a trans-supportive banner to hang alongside our travel banner at away NWSL matches.
    • The TA doesn't have a travel banner that is sent to away matches and Timbers-centric Regional Supporters Groups (RSGs) often design their own banners to show support for the team. RSGs should feel empowered to support the trans community in ways that are meaningful and impactful based on their locality. Requests for assistance from the Timbers Army Steering Committee (flags, tracing of banners, etc.) will be honored as best possible given potential time/cost constraints.

    For supporters who have decided not to travel to these states, we encourage you to make a donation to one of the above organizations.

    The initial version of this post did not contain the TA's offer of assistance to RSGs looking for help in constructing their own banners in support. We apologize for the error.

  • 02/18/2022 5:59 AM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    A message from our friends at OPI

    Greetings, fam!

    Well, if 2020 was the deep freeze for our work in the local soccer and fustal community, then 2021 was the start of the thaw. We didn't achieve 100% of our pre-pandemic speed, but we got some good stuff done.

    We brought two crews of volunteers into Portland parks during the summer, visiting (actually, in both cases, revisiting) Ed Benedict Park in SE and Knott Park in NE. And we got back to work on Project Blacktop by installing permanent futsal courts in the schoolyards at Peninsula Elementary in North Portland and Capitol Hill Elementary in Southwest. In total, that makes 13 blacktop futsal courts that we've built in parks and schoolyards in Portland and Beaverton.

    For 2022, expect a similar slate of volunteer days, a similar round of Project Blacktop works, and a restart of Fields For All, our collaboration with the Stand Together initiative of the Timbers and Thorns.

    And keep an eye open for announcements of a fundraising event sometime in the spring: a special screening of a footy film with a strong local component that could turn into something very positive for a community new to our projects.


  • 02/10/2022 11:35 AM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    Match day drives are one of the ways 107IST members give back to our community all year. Every time there is a home match for Timbers or Thorns, many of our members stop and pick up something to donate. These drives benefit local community organizations. Last year, donation drives benefited Blanchet House, IRCO, Janus Youth Services, Outside In, Street Roots, and Rose Haven shelter. As always, the generosity and care of this community is inspiring and important. Please consider making this part of your match day routine in 2022.

    Our first drive of the year will support the Urban League of Portland’s project HAVEN. Project HAVEN offers permanent housing, support services, workshops, and culturally specific services for folks who need it. They have an ongoing need for household items to support their residents. They are requesting new or very gently used items, and do not have the ability to sanitize or launder them before distribution, so please donate items that are high quality and ready to use. If possible, items still in their packaging are the easiest for them to store and use! See the lists below for details:

    New items:

    • Bedding and bath: toilet paper, full/queen sheet sets, pillowcases, standard pillows, towels, hand towels, washcloths, blankets, shower curtains and plastic laundry baskets
    • Cleaning supplies: sponges, dish soap, cleaners, paper towels, toilet brushes, brooms or dust sweepers, laundry soap (single packets are best!) and cleaning buckets
    • Kitchen items: dish towels, potholders and reusable shopping bags

    New or very clean like-new items: microwaveable plates and bowls, glasses, placemats, flatware sets (for two people), saucepans/fry pans with lids, paring knives, can openers, measuring cups/spoons, and serving spoons.

    Please consider picking something up on your way to the match! The Urban League told us that your donations in 2020 helped get them through some tough times at the start of the pandemic. Let’s keep it up!

    Donations will be accepted anytime Fanladen is open, including match days and member hours. Check the newsletter for the most current information.

    As always, if you’re interested in helping plan a drive, or have any questions, feel free to contact the Outreach team by email: 

  • 01/20/2022 7:14 AM | Kristen Gehrke (Administrator)

    The following is an email sent from Timbers season ticket holder Aaron Brown to the PTFC ticketing team, posted here with Aaron's permission. It may not reflect the views of the 107IST Board or the organization at large. 

    Last November, after celebrating a delightful end-of-season victory in the North End with my friends, I walked out of Civic Stadium to find that someone had cut through a lock and stolen my messenger bag off my bike parked on the temporary racks on SW Morrison.

    I was really distraught - while the the bag and contents were of minimal value to anyone by myself, I had a decade ago spent what was then to me a good amount of money on the bag and considered it one of my most prized possessions. At the time, after returning from college to move back to my hometown, I went out of my way to ask the local company making the messenger bag to use specific green and gold fabric, and gave them patches from the No Pity Van and of the club crest itself to sew onto the front. This rugged, delightful bag was literally designed to my exact tastes - the local company specialized in waterproof bags perfect for getting around town, and I took a certain amount of delight in knowing there wasn’t a single one like it anywhere on the planet.

    The same year I bought the bag, with what little money I had returning from college, I ponied up to buy a season ticket for the inaugural MLS season. It was at the time among the largest non-essential purchases I had ever made on my own dime - and I was rapt with enthusiasm that winter eagerly anticipating spending the next years of my life both biking around in my hometown and watching my plucky little club play in the top league in America.

    Until this fall, I do not believe I have missed a single regular season Timbers home match that I have been in town for since I went to my first match in the General Admission section in 2005. That’s just shy of half of my life at this point, and likely represents something close to 250 matches. I can't even begin to express the extent to which I've routed my life around supporting these teams, traveling thousands of miles (and lord, spending untold thousands of dollars) to sing for the boys in green and the girls in red. New York, Vancouver, Columbus, Atlanta, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Chicago, at least a dozen trips to Seattle... and why? Because in supporting these soccer clubs, I found community. I found people who enjoyed the beautiful game, the ecstatic thrill of spending ninety minutes together, watching the fortunes of our favorite club rise and fall. It's been so captivating to belong to something larger than myself, in an institution with deep, historic roots in my beloved hometown. That couple of days in 2015 when my dad surprised me with last minute tickets to fly to Ohio and watch the club put a star on the crest remains probably the greatest weekend of my life. I've recruited dozens of friends, colleagues, and family members to join me in the North End over the years, and probably gifted at least two dozen scarves over my life, usually successfully welcoming a new person into becoming a fan and supporter of these two cherished soccer clubs (and for the Front Office, new paying customers).

    If soccer is the most universal language on the planet (what Swedish writer Fredrik Ekelund called the “Esperanto of the feet”), being a supporter of the Timbers and Thorns and the community around it has always felt like Portland’s local dialect, and it’s an accent I assumed I would be glad to keep for the rest of my life. That the fans understood love of the sport and the club as an extension of love for the community itself is an ethos I’ve only grown to further admire in my own professional career in nonprofit advocacy spaces that prioritize using place to unite across differences and cultivate belonging.

    It should be noted that while I was standing this fall in front of my bike, morose about the loss of my messenger bag, a nearby fan unlocking her own bike insisted I borrowed her extra rear light to get home safely since mine had been lost in the theft. It was a reminder that in times of trouble, the supporters of the club always seems to look out for each other, even strangers, because the beauty of supporting your soccer club is that there are no strangers when you’re all wearing the same colors.

    So when I tell you that reading that ESPN article this weekend led me to consider that I might already regret renewing my season ticket for the 2022 season, I hope you understand how patently absurd I would find this sentence as recently as a few years ago. To find myself so disgusted with the reckless, arrogant leadership that I’d consider no longer planning my life around the fixtures is a helluva indictment on how deeply betrayed I feel from the past few years. It’s not too much to ask that the club recognize the values and priorities of the community who rearrange their lives to find opportunities to support them.

    To be candid, I’ve had iterations of this email in my inbox for years, starting with the Iron Front debacle in 2019 (which, by the way, given how the summer of 2020 played out in Portland with the whole “federal goon squad occupying downtown thing,” it sure seems prescient that in 2019 the Timbers Army was trying to warn about creeping fascism!). I was horrified by the possibility of letting Diego Valeri go in 2019, remain uneasy about the clubs deep ties to revanchist municipal business leadership, and remain astonished the club that consistently boasts about its sustainability bonafides continues to take a massive corporate sponsorship from 76, an oil company. That the owner of the club was boneheaded enough to take to twitter to complain about losing money hand over fist during a pandemic that created economic havoc for so many in the community and has so far seen 800,000+ deaths and counting only reaffirms how different a bubble the FO live in from the everyday Timbers fans, let alone the Portland community at large. 

    So, I was already a bit frustrated with the front office when the news broke this fall that the club had essentially covered up sexual assault for years, allowed the perpetrator to get off without ramification, and then acted puzzled that the community was so outraged at the news. The obliviousness to the hypocrisy - support women’s sports by giving us your money, but please don’t hold us accountable to supporting women’s sports by making sure women have a safe workplace! - and the desperate PR attempts to try and quell the outrage through performative social media gestures. I just don’t understand how the club that sees itself as perhaps the largest and most important women’s soccer club in North America if not the world doesn’t recognize the responsibility it holds to set precedence that such trespasses are unacceptable, and that the club needs full transparency and accountability. I think about how many supporters in the Riveters section carry with them everyday all sorts of awful trauma related to sexual assault, and it makes me miserable to imagine that their beloved Portland Thorns was incapable of rising to the challenge of setting the tone and proactively showing it will do everything possible to exorciate assault from women’s soccer.

    Other than a single cup of coffee the day of the cup final, I’ve maintained a concession and apparel boycott since the news broke, and honestly can’t imagine myself spending another dime inside the stadium anytime soon. I also take umbrage with the grotesquely out-of-touch statement that the club issued in response to the ESPN article, which noted the whole “90% season ticket holder renewal statistic” - we all know that was overwhelmingly driven by a desire to be present to hopefully watch Diego Valeri be sent off with a trophy. I myself only renewed my season ticket (and even so begrudgingly) because the original announcement suggested I’d be able to buy four tickets to the cup final, which of course was immediately cut down to two. I feel kinda tricked into renewing, to be honest, and I’m wondering if it’s not time for me to officially break up with this club and find other social institutions that actually seem to share my values, or at least care to listen to what my values are. The club’s decision to dismiss the monthly check in with the 107ist, a democratically elected representation of fans (certainly more democratically chosen than anyone in the Timbers higher leadership), only reinforces a gut decision that the club remains oblivious to who lines their pockets, who vouches for their values, who carries the team through good years and not-so-good years, rain or shine.

    I hope the front office is taking seriously the possibility that that organic, word-of-mouth zeitgeist that keeps bringing fans into the stadium might disappear, forever doused by a greedy and clueless attitude towards the folks lining the pockets of the FO. What happens when you don’t get the free advertising of supporters proudly wearing your scarves across town, asking to put the match on at the local bar, feeling proud to be part of something bigger than oneself because it reflects one’s larger ethos and values? Will the corporate sponsors be as excited to renew when the general admission section doesn’t keep the stadium’s energy flowing through the season? Do fans across the stadium really show up to watch this team hunker through a rebuild without any coordinated trumpets, tifo or singing?  Forget the moral and sentimental angle - I'm astonished the Front Office thinks that breaking off meetings with the 107IST is somehow an economically wise decision. Since I did renew my season ticket and you do already have my money, I suppose I look forward to continuing my concessions boycott and gleefully participating in whatever direct action the 107IST has in mind for the upcoming season to go on strike and make explicit their contributions to the community. I want to see Gavin Wilkinson fired, I want to see more accountability and transparency around the investigations of assault underway, I want to see a front office that sees their biggest supporters as accomplices in celebrating our club and community instead of adversaries.

    So yeah, in some ways, having that messenger bag stolen from my bike during a Timbers match was a pretty fitting representation of the season.  I’ve written multiple emails and filled out plenty of surveys over the years pleading with you to set up an outside-the-stadium bag check as i’ve seen at most other MLS stadia I’ve visited, which would be massively helpful for anyone trying to bike or transit to the match (especially after enforcement of the clear bag rule). I also noticed that it appears the cheery woman on Timbers/Thorns match day operations staff who since 2011 has watched the bikes during the match to deter theft no longer holds that job. It’s honestly a wonder that more folks haven’t had bike lights stolen. (There were multiple cops nearby, but they literally laughed at me when I expressed frustration that their presence didn’t deter petty theft). Can’t help but wonder if her absence is a sign of the club once again cutting costs.

    Something that meant an awful lot to me, that represented the things I cared about most in this world, that I was overjoyed to talk about at endless length, that I had repeatedly asked for support to keep and cherish, feels like it’s been taken from me due to indifference and neglect from the very entities of which I consider myself the biggest of supporters. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected otherwise, given how the front office ignored Mana Shim in 2015 and now both unceremoniously showed Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri the door in 2022 despite these individuals’ overwhelmingly significant contributions to the club and the community.

    Given all of that, I suppose it's foolish to assume this email will have any impact on the club's front office. Just another supporter audacious enough to believe they are entitled to have the club they care about maybe care about them in return.

    Last month, despite the cost, along with my season ticket I bought myself a replacement new messenger bag. Although it’s a slightly different shade and updated looks, when asked to choose a color I of course inevitably chose green.

    Please restart listening to and collaborating with the 107IST to allow me the opportunity to someday be eager to cover it in Timbers patches while I carry it around town.

  • 12/08/2021 7:53 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    The following is a post from Rachel Greenough, 107IST member and Rose City Riveters Steering Committee member.

    Am I happy the Timbers are playing for a cup at home? I sincerely wish that weren’t a complicated question.

    I’m a Thorns supporter through and through, but I love when the Timbers win. My friends have given their blood, sweat, and tears to support this team, and they deserve moments like this.

    Except this isn’t really that moment, is it? For anyone paying attention to the broader soccer landscape in Portland or the U.S., this isn’t really that moment we’ve been waiting for. This moment is much, MUCH more complicated.

    I wasn’t able to watch the game or get updates on Saturday, so I checked in anxiously around the time of the final whistle, expecting to feel elated if the Timbers had won. Instead, I felt sadness.

    I felt sad because it felt like this win had come at the expense of NWSL players, the expense of our protest, the expense of momentum in the movement for more transparency. That’s not the fault of Timbers players (though seriously, where have those voices been these past two months?), nor is it the fault of supporters who are understandably thrilled to be here at the end of this season. But it sucks.

    It hurt so badly watching the Thorns lose in semifinals. It hurt so badly every time we watched them gut it out the final month of the season before that. I made the choice to show my caring through being there, screaming, holding signs and waving flags — but I know others who couldn’t bring themselves to do that. We all took our stands where we could. We knew how much the team was hurting. Their world (and league and club) had been rocked. That they managed to pull through it with some semblance of unity was incredible.

    This semifinal loss was heart-wrenching in a manner that was even deeper than the infamous 2016 end to the season. Worse than 6-0 to the Courage in 2019. Because this loss spoke of deeper pain and deeper hurt. I don’t claim to speak for any players, but as a supporter my heart hurt for the players on the field as they played through the end of this season. Even more, it hurt for those who weren’t there. For Mana Shim and Sinead Farelly and Kaiya McCullough and everyone else — identified or anonymous — who has left this league over the years due to abuse and harassment.

    It bears saying again. Paul Riley abused players. He used sexual coercion and harassment to make their lives living hell. He is an asshole and an abuser.

    The club’s current owner, the current GM of the Portland Timbers, and others in the highest positions of power knew that this occurred. No, they didn’t know everything, but they knew enough to know that Riley no longer deserved to work here. They knew enough to know that they should look into it further. But they let him walk away and take the next job that came along in the league. They congratulated him. They maintained those relationships. Because that is what powerful men do for each other all the damn time.

    The Thorns have a new GM and a new coach. I am excited about those hires. I love this team. But this is not over as long as these men are in charge and as long as they maintain an absolute brick wall of silence around the club — BOTH clubs. As long as they are the names and faces listed as being the top of the hierarchy on timbers dot com (which is also the website for the Thorns. Weird, right?). As long as the Timbers win and they coerce everyone into renewing season tickets on their timeline. As long as they sit silently and hold all the power, while women and non-binary players are playing in a league that has systematically disempowered them from the start.

    I’m just extremely tired of men winning everything and women and non-binary players giving up their dreams. So am I being overly sensitive, feeling sad as I watch the end of a remarkable Timbers season? Probably. But my heart is broken and I am tired and I just wanted to say it out loud.

  • 11/24/2021 9:00 AM | Kristen Gehrke (Administrator)

    The views of the author are not necessarily those of the 107IST or its Board of Directors. 

    “This is soul-crushing.”

    That’s what I told my wife before my son and I headed down to the stadium Sunday afternoon. She had helped me put together one last sign just a couple of hours before kickoff — “Do the right thing.”

    It had been 45 days since Meg Linehan’s article was first published and we all learned about the horrible acts inflicted upon two former Thorns players by a former Thorns coach. It was appalling. How does this even happen? In this club? Our club? And how had no one been held accountable for six years? Six years!

    Parting ways with Paul Riley in 2015 was the right thing to do. That said, he continued coaching — in the same league, no less. I believe that Portland had an obligation to bring this to the league and take whatever available steps there were to prevent him from continuing to coach in the NWSL. It is mind boggling to think that a coach could do these things, a team could find out, and he would still coach at all, let alone in the same league.

    The piece of the story that has not been addressed by the club are the actions – or lack thereof – of Gavin Wilkinson, Nancy Garcia Ford, Mike Golub, and Merritt Paulson. Part of being an employer is to make a safe work environment for your employees. Disregarding a player is not making a safe work environment. Keeping people safe goes beyond physical injury. It means taking steps to protect a player’s physical safety, mental and emotional wellbeing. It means being human to other humans.

    I have been a season ticket holder for the Timbers and Thorns since they joined MLS and the NWSL respectively. For more than a month, it has been difficult to hold tickets to either, especially the Timbers. While Gavin Wilkinson has been on administrative leave from the Thorns, he has remained in his role for the Timbers. This is not the “One Club” that has been touted by the front office for the last eight years. One Club would remove Gavin from his role in both teams.

    I’ve realized how little joy I am finding in my relationship with One Club when I received the “Know before you go” email ahead of the match against San Jose. One, I had forgotten there was a game, so that says something. But more importantly, I didn’t see attending the game as something to look forward to. It was an inconvenience. Why would I want to attend a game for a club that appears to be doing so little despite the voices of so many. There are many actions that can be taken, and many demands to be met. There is one that is the simplest of all, and would be felt immediately:

    Fire Gavin Wilkinson from the entire organization.

    I desperately want to want to renew my Timbers and Thorns season tickets. Right now, I don’t think they want me to want to. If they did, they would listen as One Club. To the supporters. To the players. To Mana and Sinead. 

    Right now, they are barely hanging on to two Half Clubs. They need to make a choice. As it stands, what the Timbers and Thorns are telling me is that I am not a valued season ticket holder, fan demands are not a priority, and player safety does not matter. Three things that can quickly end in No Club.

    Like I said, this is soul-crushing.

    -- Kyle Jones, Timbers & Thorns supporter

  • 11/24/2021 6:53 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    The following is a post by Sarah Gehrke.

    I moved to Portland, Oregon, three years ago. As an avid supporter of women’s soccer, I was in awe to finally be in the city I considered to be the home of the pinnacle of women’s professional soccer. After spending five years supporting the Washington Spirit, I was finally in a place I thought gave women’s soccer the environment it deserves. I thought Portland had it all — a gorgeous downtown stadium that regularly boasts tens of thousands of fans, a large and passionate supporters group, significant brand awareness throughout the city, and much more.

    However, Portland is not the shining beacon of women’s soccer I thought it was. One month ago, we learned that Paul Riley was accused of sexually coercing multiple players, while the Thorns Front Office quietly placed Riley on leave and then declined to renew his contract without any mention of the investigation or administrative leave. Both Gavin Wilkinson and Merritt Paulson publicly continued cordial interactions with Riley. On top of that, Wilkinson allegedly dissuaded Mana Shim from speaking openly about her sexual orientation. 

    An environment where players aren’t protected, where they are made to fear speaking openly, and where a known abuser is allowed to move on without consequence is not acceptable. Despite the extensive reporting and follow-up stories, the Front Office has done little more than pay lip service to the calls for accountability, including only placing Wilkinson on administrative leave from the Thorns while allowing him to continue in his capacity as GM of the Timbers. This decision stands in contrast to a recent sexual abuse scandal in men’s hockey, where the GM who mishandled sexual assault allegations stepped down from his role. While we need to wait until the results of the investigation before terminating Wilkinson, he should be placed on administrative leave from the team — full stop.

    Closure and moving forward doesn’t happen wIthout accountability and consequences for the people in positions of power in the Thorns Front Office that 1) fostered an environment where this type of abuse could occur and 2) allowed an abuser to move on from the team without acknowledgement of the circumstances of his departure.

    I am cautiously optimistic about the recent hiring of Karina LeBlanc as Thorns GM and rumored hiring of Rhian Wilkinson as the next head coach. I’m thrilled to see women who played the game in Portland coming back to the organization; however, it is also true that both lack experience for their future roles. If one of the goals of bringing R. Wilkinson and LeBlanc into the organization is to improve treatment of players and culture within the club, then there needs to be clear policies in place to give that power to both of them. Without explicit empowerment and guardrails, I believe existing, powerful members of the Front Office — including Paulson, G. Wilkinson, and Mike Golub — will control the real levers of power within the organization, which is part of what has created an environment of silence and disempowerment of players.

    I love this city. I love my community of supporters. I love to support the players of Thorns FC. I will not back down, and I will not give up until we’ve seen the safety and environment for players of Thorns FC protected (as outlined by the demands published by both Thorns players and the Rose City Riveters). 

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