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Thorns draft pick Sydny Nasello apologizes for past tweets

(Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Sydny Nasello and the Portland Thorns addressed the No. 13 overall draft pick’s social media activity on Saturday after fans raised concerns about past controversial tweets.

Fans, including the Rose City Riveters, called out Nasello during Saturday’s NWSL Draft for a series of tweets posted to her account, with the Thorns supporters group writing, “Fascism, racism, homophobia, transphobia- we are against these.”

A post by Nasello’s account began making the rounds following her draft selection, with the University of South Florida junior retweeting a message that advocated for the exclusion of trans athletes from sports.

Head coach Rhian Wilkinson addressed the mounting concerns regarding Nasello’s views espoused on Twitter, telling reporters that the club did its “due diligence” but that they didn’t do the “work needed on the social media side.”

“I think it’s important that I state that this is an inclusive, open club that values its fans and knows what we stand for,” added Wilkinson.

Nasello issued an apology to Thorns fans on Saturday, but her tweets are now protected, allowing only approved followers to view her account.

The Nasello controversy comes after a tumultuous year for Portland, with the club still reeling from a report in The Athletic in which former players accused ex-coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion and emotional abuse. What the front office knew and when has been the subject of scrutiny, leaving many fans calling for a total overhaul of the team’s leadership.

The Thorns hired Karina LeBlanc as general manager in November, moving on from former GM Gavin Wilkinson and ushering in a new era of transparency. Nasello’s signing, to many fans, is in direct contradiction to the “purpose-driven” ethos LeBlanc said she intended to foster in Portland.