Former Canada Soccer President Apologizes to Christine Sinclair Over Insulting Language
Christine Sinclair, the world’s all-time leading international goal scorer, recently appeared before a parliamentary committee to voice her concerns about pay equity, equal treatment, and other issues surrounding Canada Soccer. During the meeting, Sinclair raised her concerns to former Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis who allegedly referred to them later in the gathering, asking: “What was it Christine was bitching about?” Although Bontis does not recall using this language, he apologized for any offense caused and admitted to treating Sinclair’s concerns disrespectfully.
Bontis, who resigned from his role in February, acknowledged that changes were needed to expedite labor peace with the men’s and women’s national teams. While the women’s national team’s contract with Canada Soccer expired in 2021, the men’s team is negotiating their first formal deal since forming their own players’ association last August. However, Bontis credited Sinclair, who helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, for the positive impact she has made on the sport.
“Few people have done more for soccer or women’s sport in this country than Christine,” said Bontis. “She has not only inspired millions of young soccer players around the world she inspired me. Unlocking the full potential of players who want to follow in Christine’s footsteps was a large part of why I got involved with Canada Soccer.”
This incident serves as a reminder of the challenges still faced in ensuring equal treatment in the soccer industry. Although Bontis’ apology is a step forward, more needs to be done to ensure positive working relationships between players and officials, as well as promote respect and professionalism in the industry.
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