The scandal of systematic abuse of players in the United States National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has affected Alaska Airlines’ decision on sponsorship deals with football teams. Presently, Alaska Airlines is a partner and sponsor of two Portland-based football teams, the Timbers (men’s Major League Soccer team) and the Thorns (women’s team in the NWSL).
As per reports, a statement has been made by the airline on their reason behind the reconsideration of the sponsorship deal: “We are deeply concerned by the findings in the Sally Q. Yates independent report, commissioned by U.S. Soccer. We recognize the tremendous courage of the women’s soccer players and others who came forward. As a long-standing partner of the Portland Thorns and Timbers FC, our priority is supporting the players and ensuring any action we take contributes to positive systemic change. We are currently assessing options to fulfil those objectives.”
As per reports, over 200 players were involved in the investigation which comprised coaches, the league, and the team officials. The investigation brought them closer to some shocking findings- verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct had become systemic that spanned across multiple teams, victims, and coaches. The abusive system has rooted a deeper culture in the women’s soccer team. Verbal abuses during coaching were normalized and the boundaries between the coach and players were portrayed as seamless. The only official airline of the league, Delta Airlines did not position itself regarding this issue during the time of publication.
It was recently reported by Simple Flying that AFA Alaska, Alaska Airlines is considering updating its premium products so that it can gain a competitive advantage over other airlines. According to Alaska Airlines, the very first retrofitted aircraft must enter service by the end of October 2022. Presently, the airline has a fleet size of 61 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and retrofitting the airline with involving an investment of $20 million. However, the updates which are to be introduced are yet to be decided.