April 1, 2019 - Club Statement:
There is no higher priority at the Vancouver Whitecaps than the safety and well-being of our staff and athletes. As a club, we hold ourselves accountable to a respectful workplace policy of the highest standard and expect the same from every member of the club.
This policy includes access to an independent Ombudsperson who is available to all club staff and athletes on an anonymous basis. Additionally, all coaching staff are subject to criminal record checks and coaches and players participating in our full-time programs receive specialized respectful workplace training. Our respective leagues and governing bodies also provide further training and support services with respect to workplace standards.
Any matter arising which may be in contravention to our policy goes through a rigorous assessment and, where appropriate, action is taken. The Club's respectful workplace policies are reviewed annually to ensure they continue to meet best standards.
With respect to the matters raised regarding the Whitecaps Women's team in 2008: Complaints regarding behaviour within the program were brought forward to senior club management at that time. The Club immediately engaged an independent Ombudsperson, a leading expert in workplace safety and respected lawyer who specializes in this field, to do a thorough and impartial investigation into the complaints.
As part of her investigation, the Ombudsperson had access to players and staff to conduct confidential interviews and gather information on an anonymous basis. Upon conclusion of the investigation, while the Ombudsperson had no recommendations for further action, the club and coach parted ways.
In light of the specific details contained in today's blog, we are concerned there may be new information related to this matter that did not come forward in 2008 or since. We have contacted the VPD to ensure they are aware of today's blog and can assess if further action is required.