Guest post/editorial from Jason Rodgers, Thorns Season Ticket Holder and Supporter
Yesterday’s double-header at Providence Park was an exciting day for Portland soccer. The Thorns started their season with a home win over Orlando pride, setting an attendance record for an opening match, followed by a physical and emotional loss by the Timbers to Sporting KC.
While Portland soccer fans spoke with their presence, epic tifos, roaring chants, and general boundless support and love for their teams, former Timbers player Willie Anderson spoke with his foot solidly planted in his mouth. In the KPTV pregame show, sportscaster Nick Krupke asked Thorns coach Mark Parsons substantive questions about receiving the Supporter’s Shield and starting the season strong. But then Parsons turns to his left to questions from Anderson about why he coaches “girls,” and if he yells at them and makes them cry! Really?! These are the only questions that came to his mind? Krupke nervously glances at the camera and then is wise to cut the interview short.
These sexist remarks are unacceptable. It is clear that Mr. Anderson does not respect or value our women’s soccer league, and thinks Parsons is somehow a lesser coach because he is associated with them. The challenges that women’s sports face with regards to inequities in pay, facilities, and accommodations – and not just soccer – is frustrating enough without these sorts of small-minded comments from within the athletics and media community. Julie Foudy was at Providence Park yesterday, and I hope she gets wind of this interview and makes an example of these ignorant statements in a future broadcast.
Please reconsider your relationship with Willie Anderson as a sports commentator. Whatever his contributions to the Timbers organization of old, he does not represent Portland soccer today. Thank you.
Thorns season ticket holder
Longtime Timbers supporter