VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The president of the Vancouver Whitecaps has remained silent for more than two months since a former women’s team player brought forward abuse allegations against a former coach.
And there are many key issues around this scandal that Bob Lenarduzzi has yet to take questions on.
One of the big questions remaining after the team’s apology is: why does the timeline shared by the club, omits a 2007 meeting that former player Ciara McCormack writes about in her blog where she says she outlined her concerns to Lenarduzzi?
In that blog, McCormack claims she went to Lenarduzzi with a teammate to outline her concerns about the coach at the centre of these allegations, requesting anonymity — and the president responded by bringing those allegations directly to the coach and identifying the players in question.
But what exactly was Lenarduzzi told during that meeting?
WATCH: Whitecaps apologize following abuse allegations
Sportsnet 650’s Perry Solkowski has covered the team for years and is puzzled by Lenarduzzi’s decision not to publicly address the situation.
“Surprised, just really, really surprised,” Solkowski says of that decision to stay quiet. “When you’re involved in something, and you’ve been such a public figure in this community, good or bad, you owe it to the fans — even if you can’t add much to it, if [a comment] comes from Bob Lenarduzzi, I think it carries an awful lot more weight to everybody in the soccer community and the sports community in this city.”
It’s also worth noting Lenarduzzi’s signature wasn’t on the club’s apology, despite McCormack’s blog claim indicating his central role in telling the coach about her concerns.
The Whitecaps have not made Lenarduzzi available for an interview but claim McCormack did not make any allegation of sexual misconduct to the club during that 2007 meeting — we are awaiting a response on whether Lenarduzzi disputes that he was made aware of abuse of power allegations in that meeting or in e-mails during that period.
Whatever Lenarduzzi was made aware of in that meeting did not prompt immediate change — the coach at the centre of the allegations remained at the club until a year and a half later.
In a statement, the club writes that it does not include the 2007 meeting as part of its timeline because it says McCormack did not raise concerns about sexual misconduct.
None of the claims against this coach have been tested in court.