PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After news broke Monday morning that the report documenting the yearlong investigation into accusations of sex abuse and misconduct in the National Women’s Soccer League had been released, many eyes turned to the Portland Thorns’ main sponsors to see if the corporations would continue supporting the team.
KOIN 6 News reached out to the major sponsors to see what they had to say about the report, which found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the NWSL.
The report claims the Thorns tried to cover up the abuse.
Since the report was released, fans have called on sponsors to stop backing the organization.
KOIN contacted Providence, Alaska Airlines, Laurelwood Brewing, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Adidas, Dutch Bros, TikTok and Tillamook.
Few of them responded.
Below is the collection of statements we did receive.
Note: In response to KOIN’s request, Providence forwarded a message sent to all of its Oregon caregivers.
I want you to hear from me on the report issued by former U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates on behalf of U.S. Soccer. The report is critical of multiple organizations, including the Portland Thorns.
The Yates report is deeply disturbing. Providence stands in support of Portland Thorns players, past and present, on and off the pitch. We also stand with anyone who has been abused or who has been affected by any form of sexual harassment or misconduct.
Statements in the past from individual players, team members and management have acknowledged the need for action. While some action has been taken, everyone must now focus on next steps.
This is a time for all those involved to learn, listen and ensure a system is in place to prevent sexual coercion and all other forms of abuse in the future.
We are following the situation closely, and are in contact with the Thorns, who issued a statement today. We will keep you updated on any future developments.
William Olson, chief executive, Providence Oregon
We are deeply concerned by the findings in the Sally Q. Yates independent report, commissioned by U.S. Soccer. We recognize the tremendous courage of the women’s soccer players and others who came forward.
As a long-standing partner of the Portland Thorns and Timbers FCs, our priority is supporting the players and ensuring any action we take contributes to positive systemic change. We are currently assessing options to fulfill those objectives.
Laurelwood Brewing Co.
A yearlong investigation found U.S. Soccer executives, N.W.S.L. owners and coaches at all levels of American soccer had turned a blind eye toward years of reports of abuse from players. NYT October 3, 2022
Laurelwood Brewing Co has been a sponsor of the Portland Thorns since April of this year. We support the players for their hard work, dedication, and always striving for excellence, and We wish them well in post season play this year. HOWEVER, We want to make clear that the findings in this report do not reflect the values of Laurelwood Brewing Co., its ownership or management.
We will wait to see what happens with team ownership and management before we make any decisions about next season.
Mike De Kalb
Laurelwood Brewing Co
Cathy Woo-De Kalb
Laurelwood Brewing Co
Tillamook County Creamery Association
We are dismayed by the findings in the Yates investigative report released by the U.S. Soccer Federation, as they are counter to our values at Tillamook that prioritize an inclusive culture and workplace where all team members feel respected, safe and supported. We stand in full support of the Portland Thorns players. We will only reconsider future sponsorship if the organization makes meaningful, institutional changes.
The Portland-based boot company Danner sponsors the Portland Thorns and has been tweeting the following statement in response to people inquiring about the company’s support of the team.
The Portland players and fans are at the core of our sponsorship, and we believe they deserve better. We are in communication with the Timbers regarding our concerns.
KeyBank is a former sponsor of the Portland Thorns. They issued the following statement after the report was released.
We are concerned about recent reports on the alleged actions involving Portland Timbers and Thorns ownership to hinder abuse investigations. While KeyBank is not currently a sponsor of the Portland Thorns, we take any allegations of sexual abuse seriously. Any further questions should be directed to those organizations or Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League.
Widmer Brothers Brewing, Adidas, Dutch Bros, and TikTok did not reply to KOIN’s requests for comment. However, this story will be updated should they respond with a comment.