Tuesday, September 27, 2022

MLS will independently investigate Whitecaps

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (NWN) – Major League Football said Friday it would hire an independent lawyer to oversee the Vancouver Whitecaps investigation into misconduct allegations against former women’s coach Hubert Busby, Jr., currently coach of the Jamaica women’s national team.

“The investigation will include an overview of the internal processes and general culture of the club at that time, as well as recommendations for preventive measures to ensure that all players and personnel under the auspices of the Whitecaps organization work in a safe environment, free from all forms of harassment and harassment. fear of retribution, ”the MLS said in a statement. “The League and Club will publicly publish the findings and recommendations of the investigation.”

US player Mallory Enoch detailed the allegations of Busby’s misconduct between 2010 and 2011 in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian. Enoch said that Busby promised to sign her as a player, then repeatedly made her room with him on trips and ended up trying to get her to have sex.

Enoch said she shared her concerns with Dan Lenarduzzi, the team’s football development director, after signing the contract in 2011, but there was no immediate action. Enoch said the culmination of the event was a group of players voicing their concerns about Busby and their overall relationship to the players’ leadership.

Busby’s contract with Whitecaps expired in October 2011. He was named head coach of the Jamaica women’s national team in January 2020 after previously serving as an assistant coach. The Jamaican Football Federation said it is aware of the allegations and will meet with Busby on Tuesday.

Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster released a statement Friday night saying he is deeply disturbed by the reports of Enoch and praises her courage in her speech.

“We respect Mallory’s bravery, value her honesty and support her fully,” Schuster said. “We apologize to Mallory for letting her down.”

Schuster went on to say that the club learned of the charge in 2011 and conducted an investigation that ultimately led to Busby’s departure.

“We have since learned that the investigation did not reveal specific charges that were disclosed this week. Our communication with the players, staff and the football community regarding the reasons for Busby’s departure was also inadequate. We should have done better and we deeply regret that, ”Schuster wrote, adding that Whitecaps intend to cooperate with the MLS investigation.

The team reported that the current front office members who were involved in the charges against Busby have been transferred for an administrative review.

Busby, 52, previously served on the Seattle Sounders women’s team as head coach and general manager, and coached in college. The women’s Sounders team, not affiliated with the Seattle Sounders of the MLS, has since closed.

Busby is the second Whitecaps coach to be charged with sexual harassment.

Former Whitecaps player Ciara McCormack stepped forward in 2019, detailing alleged abuses by former coach Bob Birada. Others have made similar accusations.

Birada, a former Canadian coach, was fired by Whitecaps in 2008 following an internal investigation. He is currently facing charges including six counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of sexual assault and one count of child involvement, including charges spanning 20 years from 1998 to 2008.

The charges against Busby emerged amid a series of abuse and misconduct scandals in women’s football.

The Women’s National Football League continues to grapple with the aftermath of harassment and sexual assault charges brought against former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley by two former players.

Riley was fired and NWSL Commissioner Lisa Byrd stepped down after accusations that Riley denied. Both the NWSL and US Soccer are investigating.

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More NWN Football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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