Why The Portland Timbers Abrupt Parting With DaBella Is Disappointing All The Way Around

750 The Game Staff

The Portland Timbers announced Wednesday the ending of its corporate partnership with DaBella, effective immediately, after misconduct and sexual harassment allegations against the company’s CEO Donnie MacMillan Jr. were made public from a court filing from Feb. 23rd.

“The Timbers and a third-party firm conducted a thorough pre-deal vetting process, and the club did not learn of the filing until Feb. 27,” the Timbers said in a press release announcing the move. “This decision was rooted in the responsibility we have to our fans, supporters, partners and employees to transparently reflect and uphold the values and expectations of our community.”

John Canzano gave his thoughts on the organization’s abrupt parting of ways with their main jersey sponsor on Wednesday’s radio show on 750 The Game (Afternoons 3-6 p.m.). Canzano said that this does not look good for the Timbers organization, even if they did not know of DaBella’s problems until this week, given the club’s recent history in being spotty with issues connected to sexual misconduct going back to the way it handled the firing of former Portland Thorns head coach Paul Riley.

“It’s a great example of an organization that could have, very easily, just done the right thing,” Canzano said, going back to the way in which the organization let go of Riley. “It would have been embarrassing to them, it would have damaged their reputation just a little bit, to say hey, we have a coach in Paul Riley, who is abusive, he has been charged with misconduct, and we have separated from him because this is not what we’re about. It would have been a small blip. And fans would have gone, oh, that’s really nice, I can trust that organization. But instead, they release him like they’re just parting ways with him, and they wish him the best, in a news release, and then subsequently when all this stuff starts to leak out, it’s like, cover-up, cover-up, backpedal, cover-up, cover-up, backpedal, then they sign a jersey sponsor who’s got issues that they probably should have found out about. It’s disappointing, to say the least.”

Timbers CEO Heather Davis since told The Oregonian the sponsorship deal with DaBella was “definitely seven-figures.” Behind the stadium naming rights deal with Providence, the jersey sponsorship deal was the second most lucrative sponsorship available for the club.

“It’s just a bad look all the way around,” Canzano continued later in the show. “And that’s why you’ve got to be impeccable if you’re trying to rebuild trust. Now, I like that they cut bait after only one game. If this is when they found out, then they made the right move in getting to it quickly. But it’s still a bad look when you look at the totality and the pile of evidence that suggests that the Timbers are asleep at the wheel.”

You can hear Canzano’s full comments on the Timbers at the 39:20 and 1:35:00 mark of the show podcast below.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.

750 The Game is the radio play-by-play home of Portland Timbers soccer, and has been since the club’s debut season in MLS in 2011.

The Timbers are next in action on Sat. March 2nd at Providence Park hosting D.C. United.  The Timbers will wear blank jerseys for the match as they search for a new uniform sponsor.