Major League Soccer on Thursday released a statement concerning allegations of misconduct brought by members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC's women’s team in 2008 and 2011 against former coaches, Bob Birarda and Hubert Busby, Jr, respectively.
The release follows initial statements made by MLS and the Whitecaps last week in the wake of the allegations.
Major League Soccer announced today that it has engaged Janice Rubin and Melody Jahanzadeh of Rubin Thomlinson LLP, to conduct an independent review of how the Vancouver Whitecaps organization handled allegations of misconduct brought by members of the Whitecaps’ women’s team in 2008 and 2011 against former coaches, Bob Birarda and Hubert Busby, Jr, respectively.
Ms. Rubin is widely regarded as a leading authority in workplace and institutional investigations and assessments and, with her colleagues at Rubin Thomlinson, have conducted countless high-profile investigations in workplaces, including within the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
The investigation will consider the club’s internal processes and overall culture at the time of the allegations, including what steps it took in response to the allegations. The review will also consider the club’s current policies and procedures and provide any recommendations on preventative measures to ensure that all players and staff within the Whitecaps organization work in a safe environment, free of all forms of harassment and fear of retaliation.
Major League Soccer is committed to a thorough, open and transparent process. In that vein, Rubin Thomlinson has set up a dedicated email address, firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone who may want to provide information relevant to the investigation, on a confidential basis.
Major League Soccer and the Vancouver Whitecaps are committed to this process and have pledged their full cooperation to the Rubin Thomlinson investigators. The findings and any recommendations will be publicly released.
Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster also issued a statement Thursday.
We completely support the process and pledge our full cooperation to the Rubin Thomlinson LLP investigators.
We vow to work diligently to foster a culture that fully protects our players and employees and puts their safety and well-being above all else.