Soccer teams take stand amidst Wallys controversy

By Rachel Rippetoe | April 20, 2018 1:45pm

University of Portland Women's and Men's Soccer teams take stand amidst Wallys controversy.
by The Beacon / The Beacon

Both men and women's soccer teams have released statements responding to the Wally Awards Sunday night, during which the emcee gave an offensive speech that marred the event for many attendees. 

Head men's soccer coach Nick Carlin-Voigt said in an email to The Beacon that the men's soccer team players and coaches felt strongly about condemning any form of misogynistic "locker room talk." 

"We have worked hard over the past two years (since Carlin-Voigt was hired) to recreate our identity and use sports as a vehicle to celebrate diversity and inclusion in our fight against all forms of discrimination," Carlin-Voigt said.  "We are truly sorry about what happened at the Wally's as this does not reflect what we stand for as a team."

A full statement in response to the Wallys was posted on the team's social media accounts. 

The statement says, "The UP Men’s Soccer Team stands and fights for all forms of equality. We are a globally diverse team of dedicated student-athletes who stand strongly against all forms of sexual assault and racism. We understand that as a male team on a college campus we have a massive role to play to foster a culture of equity and compassion. We don’t hide from this important responsibility. We believe the first step of social change is knowledge and education.  We need to continue to listen and respect all humans so we can truly live by the values we preach. We reject all forms of misogynistic “locker room talk.”  The conversations we have in our locker room are focused on becoming the best possible team on the field, in the classroom and throughout the community. This hard work is never finished and we strongly believe in the power of soccer to unite a community.”

The women's soccer team, headed by new coach, former-Olympian Michelle French, released a similar statement on its Twitter and Instagram page. 

"As members of the University of Portland Women's Soccer Program, we strive to uphold our core values and beliefs in moments where injustice, discrimination and sexism is displayed. We boldly stand for inclusion, diversity, and equality. Unequivocally, all genders are equal and discrimination in all forms is unacceptable. There is work to be done on the University of Portland campus, in this community and in this nation. We commit to taking a stand against discrimination by being outspoken advocates for equality." 

See both the men and women's statements on Twitter, below.