We are disgusted and angry about the actions and inaction reported on today in The Athletic. This is appalling and infuriating. We have supported the players of the Portland Thorns & the players in the NWSL since 2013 and will continue to but we, as supporters, are demanding more from the Portland Thorns Front Office and the NWSL.
We believe Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, Kaiya McCullough, and every other player who has been abused by NWSL owners, office staff, and coaches.
The Portland Thorns are complicit in the NWSL’s failures, actively sweeping incidents and complaints under the rug and passing issues off to others. We are furious that the harassment complaints were not investigated fully and that the club did not publicize the investigation or Riley’s violation of club policies, which resulted in his contract not being renewed. We are furious that Mana Shim was instructed to keep quiet about off-field concerns and that the Thorns’ comment in the article was not just a denial but also a categorization of Mana’s identity as "political or personal views."
We expect a professional, top tier club to have the resources to:
Check in on the health and safety of its players
Thoroughly investigate player complaints or allegations
Provide resources and tools for employees to know their rights and the club policies
We want to support the best club in the world. Today’s reporting brings to light that there is a long way to go before we can make that claim.
The Rose City Riveters stand by the NWSL Players Associations’ 3 demands:
That the NWSL start a new, independent investigation into the allegations against Riley.
That any league or club staff who are accused of conduct that violates the league's anti-harassment policy be suspended pending investigation, regardless of when the conduct in question occurred. This must occur immediately, and no later than Friday October 1, 2021.
That the NWSL disclose how Paul Riley was re-hired within the league after the Thorns' initial investigation in 2015.
The players know their rights and are fighting for their rights. We support them in taking their power back, and are with them in this fight.