Monday, April 15, 2024

Portland Thorns, Timbers fire Gavin Wilkinson, Mike Golub in wake of women’s soccer abuse investigation

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Portland Timbers and Thorns FC announced that president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson and president of business Mike Golub have been fired, the clubs announced on Wednesday. 

On Monday, U.S. Soccer and Sally Q. Yates announced the full results and recommendations from a year-long investigation around systematic abuse, sexual misconduct, and harassment across women’s professional soccer. Portland Thorns and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson announced in a statement on Tuesday that he, Wilkinson, and Golub were removing themselves “from all Thorns-related decision making until the NWSL/NWSLPA Joint Investigation…is released.” 

The terminations of Wilkinson and Golub come two days after the Yates report was made public and within the findings, Wilkinson and Golub were mentioned among the executives that failed to keep players safe and contributed to fostering a negative environment.

Golub is within the report as an executive that made sexual comments to former head coach and now current U.S. Soccer president, Cindy Parlow Cone, and players recall former Thorns General Manager Wilkinson dismissing player allegations of sexual misconduct as putting former Thorns head coach Paul Riley “in a bad position.”

The club has named general counsel Heather Davis interim president of Peregrine Sports, overseeing business operations for both the Timbers and Thorns.  

Ned Grabavoy will remain as technical director and lead Timbers’ soccer operations, while Thorns GM Karina LeBlanc will continue in her role leading Thorns soccer operations.

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