Anthem singer challenges MLS team accused of trying to curb domestic violence charge: 'You knew'
After an MLS-backed investigation found that the Portland Timbers didn't "intend to induce" a player's estranged wife from pressing domestic violence charges, the team's national anthem singer isn't convinced.
Singer Madison Shanley took the field before Sunday's home game against the Los Angeles Galaxy wearing a red T-shirt with the words "You knew" emblazoned in bold font across the front. Shanley later posted an image of the moment on Twitter while acknowledging that she might be done working with the Timbers.
It may very well have been my last Anthem for #PTFC given my choice to wear this shirt, but I’m proud of myself. As a DV & SA survivor I felt the need to use my voice in a different way today. #BelieveWomen Photo by @KP_KaylaMarie ❤️🤝💚 #YouKnew pic.twitter.com/weWYaXjshj
— Madison Shanley (@MadiShanley) April 3, 2022
"It may very well have been my last anthem for [the Portland Timbers] given my choice to wear this shirt, but I'm proud of myself," Shanley wrote. "As a DV & SA survivor I felt the need to use my voice in a different way today. #BelieveWomen"
The Timbers reportedly settled a lawsuit last week that was filed by Genessis Alarcon — the estranged wife of former Timbers midfielder Andy Polo — accusing the team of negligence regarding assault and battery allegations she made against Polo. Alarcon accused Polo of physically abusing her and their children on Peruvian TV show “Magaly TV, La Firme” in February.
“He pulled my hair, I fell to the floor, he slapped me and gave me a black eye,” she said via translation by Lima newspaper La Republica. “Yes, he has also been violent with my children.”
She also accused Polo of withholding financial support from her and their children. MLS suspended Polo following Alarcon's allegations. The Timbers subsequently released Polo, who had played four seasons with the team.
Alarcon later filed her lawsuit against Polo and the Timbers seeking $600,000 in damages from Polo while accusing the Timbers of negligence in the alleged domestic violence incident that Alcaron says took place on May 23, 2021. Alcaron told ESPN in March that the Timbers offered her support in exchange for dropping charges against Polo.
"They were going to help me, and make sure me and my kids didn't get left on the street," Alarcon told ESPN through an interpreter. "They were going to make sure that Andy was going to be responsible for me and my kids but it never happened. I was told this would be in exchange for not pressing charges."
A Washington County Sheriff's Department incident report shows that Polo was "issued a citation in lieu of arrest for harassment after grabbing onto [Alarcon's] wrist."
sThe MLS-financed investigation concluded that the team's offer to Alarcon didn't intend to induce her from pressing charges. It found that the Timbers didn't report the alleged incident to the league office as required by MLS, but that they didn't attempt to "hide or conceal the incident."
"The investigators concluded that the Timbers' offer to assist Genessis Alarcón, Mr. Polo's former domestic partner, and her children was not intended to induce, and did not induce, Ms. Alarcon to refrain from pursuing criminal charges against Mr. Polo,” an MLS statement read. “The report also concluded that while the Timbers should have reported the May 23, 2021 incident to MLS, there was no evidence that the Timbers attempted to hide or conceal the incident."
Terms of Alarcon's settlement with the team weren't disclosed in court documents obtained by ESPN. Her civil case seeking damages against Polo is ongoing.