Forge FC Players Write Letter of Support for Peter Reynders
All eighteen Forge FC players have signed a letter of support regarding the treatment of Forge FC assistant coach Peter Reynders following renewed focus in the racial allegations put in place against him by several Cavalry FC members last year.
With the Black Lives Matters protests bringing racial inequality to the forefront of global conversation, the subject of prolonged silence during Reynders’ appeal process was recently commented on by Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan, who revealed the length of further silence depends on how long it will take a third party investigator to come to their own conclusion regarding the incident.
With the Hamilton-based club’s own supporters group demanding more transparency and urgency from the CSA regarding this investigative process, and both fans and media alike continually asking for clarity regarding the allegations, the Forge FC players released the following letter addressed to Forge FC owner Bob Young today:
Forge FC forward Chris Nanco, who recently spoke with OneSoccer about his personal experiences on the receiving end of racist behavior, wrote an additional piece when publishing the letter of support on his personal Instagram:
Us Forge FC players are aware of the wrongful accusations that have been put forth about our assistant coach Peter Reynders and have been silent for far too long. We will no longer be silent and defend ourselves, as well as our organization, for what is right and just. We know the truth, we stand together, and we stand by our coach. Throughout this process, nobody has bothered to ask me – Chris Nanco – about the accusations made against my coach, someone I work with everyday. I don’t have to learn what racism is. I’ve lived it every day. Do not dictate or tell me how to feel about something you’ve never experienced.Chris Nancos
Former Forge FC striker Emery Welshman also offered his support over social media in response to Nanco’s post, though he no longer plays for the Hamilton-based team.
The Hamilton-based club was quick to offer a response to the letter, sending out a direct quote from assistant coach Peter Reynders, who had been silent on the matter following his decision to launch an appeal against the CSA’s guilty verdict:
The support of our players has been so strong since the allegation was made against me last June. I am truly grateful for the heartfelt effort, courage and thought that went into their letter that they shared publicly today. I remain adamant that the allegation against me is baseless and without any merit whatsoever. I will continue to fight and defend myself during this lengthy process, especially more so now during this difficult period in our world where we must end racism together once and for all.Peter Reynders
Forge FC owner Bob Young, to whom the letter was addressed, also provided a response to his squad:
I, our players with Forge FC Hamilton soccer club, and our organization all believe in equality of opportunity for all. We abhor racism in all its forms. We know Coach Peter is a person of the highest integrity who happens to be a great football coach. My only response to the letter from our Forge players is simply: they have my full support.Bob Young
With many fans having been left unhappy with how the investigation has been handled so far – and the Forge FC players evidently upset regarding the impact on Peter Reynders’ himself – it’ll be interesting to see how fans react to the club’s unanimous support for the assistant coach. Forge FC has already stated that it has retained its technical staff for the 2020 Canadian Premier League season, indicating that Forge FC fully believes in Reynders’ innocence.