Portland Thorns FC coach resigns after ‘friendship’ with a player

Canadian Rhian Wilkinson has resigned as head coach of Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) at the request of the players following her “friendship” with a player, she said today. Friday.

“During my time as Thorns manager, me and one player formed a friendship that turned into more complicated emotions,” Wilkinson wrote on Twitter.

“In mid-October, the player shared her feelings for me and I reciprocated. While this is a human moment, it doesn’t go much further than an expression of affection for him. together.

“In an effort to follow the MNDBT and MNDBT [The National Women’s Soccer League Players Association] procedures to protect player safety and be as transparent as possible, players and I immediately ceased spending time outside practicing together and immediately ceased all contact outside of work

“In less than a week, I reported to HR to make sure I didn’t cross any ethical lines.”

According to Thorns, the NWSL and the players’ union investigated and found no wrongdoing.

“Portland Thorns and Coach Wilkinson have complied with all League procedures and policies and cooperated fully with this investigation,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement posted on the website. of Portland.

“The joint investigation team conducted a thorough investigation and as a result there were no violations of Federation policy.”

Wilkinson said she informed the team of what had happened after the investigation was over but the players “found out” before she could tell them herself.

“The story of my actions now has its own merits, and as a result I can understand that the Portland players felt hurt and had to deal with an otherwise unrelated situation,” Wilkinson wrote. to football”.

“As a result of this, the players asked me to resign and I agreed to it.

“The investigative process and the readiness of players and staff to use human resources and league reporting is critically important,” Wilkinson tweeted.

“If the women’s game is to avoid further imbalances of power and abuse of players, these systems must be in place and there must be trust in the process and its outcome. We must. continue to highlight these processes,” added Wilkinson.

Wilkinson led the club to a 10-3-9 record and Portland’s third-best championship in her only season as head coach.

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