The Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army—official fan organizations supporting the Portland Thorns FC and Timbers—are calling for a concessions and merchandise boycott of Providence Park—”effective immediately.”
The Oct. 5 declaration comes following a morning appearance on the Today show by Sinead Farrelly and Meleana “Mana” Shim, two former Thorns players who allege they were sexually harassed by their former coach Paul Riley and that management stonewalled their attempts at reporting it.
“He’s a predator,” Shim said on national television. “He sexually harassed me. He sexually coerced Sinead. And he took away our careers.”
Further reading: Allegations of Misconduct and Sexual Harassment by Former Thorns Coach Rock the NWSL
The supporters’ groups intend to force a reckoning for the front office.
“PTFC leadership team knew about the incidents when they were reported in 2015. This is inexcusable,” the release reads. “This week’s message from owner Merritt Paulson further demonstrates that the Thorns organization has yet to make concrete changes to address their past failures.”
The fan clubs and with their combined 107IST group still plan to attend games.
“On game day, we will continue to show up and safely support our teams,” the clubs wrote, via press release. “The players deserve our loud and visible support—and to withhold it would send the incorrect message.”
Further reading: Portland Thorns Fans Demand Change, Question the Silence of Team Owner Merritt Paulson
The release encouraged “supporters of the team to donate to the NWSLPA any money they would have otherwise spent at a match.” The National Women’s Soccer League Players Association is the union that represents the players. Read the whole release here.