Update: Incident with American Samoa Women’s Rugby 7s coach
Apia, SAMOA — The video that has been going viral on Facebook shows the head coach of the American Samoa Women's Rugby Team lunging towards a player’s neck during a heated discussion. This photo is a screenshot from the video, showing head coach Annie Coffin - who is also a DPS police officer - addressing one of her players, only seconds before she allegedly put her hands on her.
The video has been shared by dozens of people, and hundreds of comments have been posted in support of the player - the victim of the alleged attack.
The incident is said to have occurred this past weekend, as the American Samoa Women’s Rugby Team is participating in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.
The reactions received by Samoa News have been mixed however. The aftermath of the incident has snowballed, mirroring the widespread uproar that followed the recent arrest and formal charging of DYWA director Jonathan Fanene for domestic violence.
While parents, family members, and friends of the alleged victim in this incident have spoken out against head coach Coffin’s actions, Samoa News did speak to several people from the American Samoa delegation - who are currently in Samoa for the Pacific Games - who say there is a backstory, and it has to do with a misunderstanding that occurred on the field before the players and coaches returned to Athletes Village, where they are staying.
No official comment can be obtained from the American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC) as Secretary General Ethan Lake, when asked for a statement about the incident, replied: "The ASNOC does not plan on making any statement until after we return from the Games”.
Meanwhile, the alleged victim and her mother have returned to the territory. As of press time yesterday, the men’s and women’s national basketball teams were still in the run for a gold medal and Team American Samoa had a total medal count of 6 in weightlifting, swimming, and tennis.