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Seattle Sounders FC Dismiss Broadcaster and Former Coach Alan Hinton Over Tweets

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Author: Nick Selbe

Seattle Sounders FC cut ties with former coach and broadcaster Alan Hinton after he tweeted Monday about his attitude toward Black players during his playing days.

Seattle Sounders FC have cut ties with former coach and broadcaster Alan Hinton after he posted a series of tweets on Monday, according to Jayda Evans of The Seattle Times.

Among the tweets sent out by Hinton, who was serving as a brand ambassador for the team, was one in which he described his attitude toward Black players during his playing days: “Love you if you help us win our bonuses.” Hinton played at the top level of English soccer from 1961 to 1975.

Hinton previously said that he used question marks in all of his punctuations when he first joined Twitter in 2011, according to Evans, and he’s since kept it up as a running joke.

“Sounders FC has ended its independent-contractor relationship with Alan Hinton,” the club said in a statement. “Hinton’s tweets on June 1 are not congruous with our club values, and as such, he will no longer be representing the organization in an ambassadorial capacity.”

On Wednesday, Hinton took to Twitter again to explain his remarks, saying he was merely trying to articulate how soccer players felt 50 years ago toward Black players, and acknowledged that he did not choose his words carefully enough.

According to Evans’ report, Hinton said Wednesday that he believes the Sounders are using his comments as an excuse to part ways with him, a move he thinks is more financially motivated.

“(Sounders majority owner) Adrian Hanauer twisted it to suit his goal to cut his budget,” Hinton continued. “He didn’t give me a chance to explain what happened. … Since race and rioting is on the television — I watch it six hours a day — and it’s very, very upsetting. In the middle of England, there were very few Black people around in the ’70s, and it’s a different world today. I don’t have a problem with anybody — especially race.”

The Sounders released a statement on Tuesday, supporting Black Lives Matter and participating in the #BlackoutTuesday movement on social media:

“We are outraged. We are heartbroken. We are angry. We are motivated. Our community is in so much pain. Our club is all colors. We stand with the Black Community. We denounce all forms of racism, hatred and prejudice. Swift action matters, but substantive change matters more. We are committed to be part of that change. Black Lives Matter.”

Speaking with Evans on the matter, Hinton expressed sadness for the way his tenure with the club has come to an end. He coached the Sounders from 1980-82, and again in 1994 while serving as club president. Hinton’s relationship with Sounders manager Brian Schmetzer dates back to 1980, when Hinton discovered Schmetzer at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, according to Evans.

“I’ve done my utmost for soccer here,” Hinton said. “I’ve done it for youth coaching. I’ve done it for indoor. I’ve done it for outdoor. I’ve won championships. I’ve won trophies, I’ve won games. … To be treated like this when I’m enjoying the Sounders so much because of Brian Schmetzer, who’s one of my young players from 40 years ago, it spoiled it for me.”

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Author: Nick Selbe