Photo courtesy of NWSL.
A fan who yelled racist slurs at Portland Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch at last week’s Portland vs. Utah match has been banned from all NWSL games.
The league issued the following statement on Sept. 14:
“After a thorough investigation, the individual who made racist comments toward one of our players at the Utah Royals FC home game on Friday, September 6, 2019, has been identified and banned from attending games at Rio Tinto Stadium. The ban will also extend to all NWSL games played at other venues. NWSL will not tolerate inappropriate fan behaviour. Racism has no place in our sport.”
Reports of the incident hit social media when fans at the match wrote on Twitter that another fan was yelling racist comments at Adrianna Franch, who is black. The Thorns and Royals both began investigation into the incident the following day.
The NWSL Players Association said they hoped the league would implement policies to handle similar incidents going forward.
“The situation surrounding our game friday night is not a NEW issue, nor is it a first for me,” Franch wrote on Twitter. “RACISM is NOT okay in any form!! We as a HUMAN RACE can be better and should be better. We as a SPORT can help show the way.”
Franch has been the recipient of the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award for the last two seasons and claimed a gold medal with the U.S. national team this past summer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.