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Gavin Wilkinson Reinstated as Portland Thorns' President of Soccer After Investigation

In a statement, Thorns players recognized the reinstatement of Gavin Wilkinson as the team's president of soccer after he was placed on administrative leave in October in the wake of sexual coercion allegations against former manager Paul Riley.

The Thorns players said that the club hired the law firm DLA Piper to conduct an internal business review of soccer operations and they believe the investigation was thorough. 

“Based on the results of the investigation, we recognize the reinstatement of Gavin Wilkinson as President of Soccer,” the statement read. 

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This was all set in motion after a report by the The Athletic’s Meg Linehan and Katie Strang detailed a lengthy history of alleged sexual coercion from Riley. This included his time with Portland, where he allegedly made inappropriate comments about players’ weight and sexual orientations. 

Players demanded that Wilkinson be put on leave pending an investigation and the team increase diversity in upper management. Their final demand was for the Thorns to, “Give the players a seat at the table to increase transparency and inner-organization cooperation,” per the statement. 

The players added that the club has since adopted an anonymous reporting system and will require all managers to take annual anti-harassment training.

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