MLS to investigate Vancouver Whitecaps’ handling of misconduct allegations against former women’s coach

Major League Soccer announced Friday it will hire an independent counsel to investigate the Vancouver Whitecaps’ handling of misconduct allegations against former women’s coach Hubert Busby Jr. He allegedly made sexual advances toward Malloree Enoch while trying to recruit the American player to the Whitecaps over 2010 and 2011. 

Busby Jr. has denied Enoch’s allegations.

“The investigation will include a review of the club’s internal processes and overall culture at the time as well as recommendations on preventative measures to ensure that all players and staff under the Whitecaps organization umbrella work in a safe environment, free of all forms of harassment and fear of retaliation,” MLS wrote in a statement. “The league and club will publicly release the findings and recommendations of the investigation.”

Enoch told the Guardian she initially hoped to land an administrative job with Vancouver’s women’s team, but after contacting Busby Jr. in September 2010 the 52-year-old coach suggested she join as a player. 

Over the ensuing recruitment process Busby Jr. paid for Enoch to fly to events with him, repeatedly asked her to stay in his hotel rooms overnight and eventually attempted to pressure her into sex. 

Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster said in a statement he was “greatly disturbed” by Enoch’s allegations and apologized for “letting her down.” According to Schuster, the team became aware of the allegations against Busby Jr. after the 2011 season. Vancouver then hired an investigator to look into Busby Jr., finding enough to avoid extending his contract after its October 2011 expiration. The investigator didn’t find every detail, though. 

“We have since learned that the investigation did not reveal certain allegations that were disclosed this week,” Schuster said. “Our communication with players, staff and the soccer community as to the reasons for Busby’s departure was also inadequate. We should have done better, and for that we are deeply sorry.”

Enoch said she told soccer development director Dan Lenarduzzi about Busby Jr.’s behavior shortly after signing with the Whitecaps in 2011. No immediate action was taken, forcing Enoch and a few of her teammates to approach management about the issue. 

After leaving the Whitecaps, Busby Jr. served as the coach and general manager of the now defunct Seattle Sounders women’s team and became Jamaica’s women’s coach in January 2020. 

The Jamaican Football Federation is expected to meet with Busby Jr. to discuss the allegations on Tuesday.  

Source link

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on stumbleupon