Sounders cut ties with Alan Hinton after offensive tweet

A questionable tweet about black players has caused the MLS’s Seattle Sounders to cut ties with former coach and broadcaster Alan Hinton, according to the Seattle Times.

On Monday, Hinton tweeted about his relationship with black players and how he warmed up to them when he realized they were good enough to help win him bonuses as a coach. Hinton tried to make clear he isn’t a racist and noted he had black friends, though it very much looked like he was saying black players’ ability to put money in his pocket was the reason he liked them at the time.

Offensive or not, it was a bizarre thing to tweet in today’s climate. And something the Sounders did not approve of, judging from what the team announced on Wednesday.

From the Times:

“Sounders FC has ended its independent-contractor relationship with Alan Hinton,” the club said in a statement. “Hinton’s tweets on June 1 are not congruous with our club values, and as such, he will no longer be representing the organization in an ambassadorial capacity.”

Hinton’s time as a coach and broadcaster for the team had been over at the time of the tweet. Instead, he had been working as an ambassador for the club, which he said came with a monthly compensation of $1,000.

Hinton insisted to the times that the decision to cut ties with him was financially motivated, with Adrian Hanauer allegedly twisting his “lovable” story into something it wasn’t:

“I put a tweet out thinking it was almost a lovable story about what happened 50 years ago,” Hinton said via phone Wednesday. He was a standout player for Derby County (1967-75) in his native England, helping the club win two titles and playing alongside Tony Parry, one of the league’s first Black players.

“Adrian Hanauer twisted it to suit his goal to cut his budget,” Hinton continued. “He didn’t give me a chance to explain what happened. … Since race and rioting is on the television — I watch it six hours a day — and it’s very, very upsetting. In the middle of England, there were very few Black people around in the ’70s, and it’s a different world today. I don’t have a problem with anybody — especially race.”

Alan Hinton (right) is no longer associated with the Sounders. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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