Bill Kinder, the subject of the Matthew McConaughey film “Dallas Sting” that was axed after an investigation uncovered allegations of misconduct, has denied the accusations, saying they were fabricated.
The Texan coach Kinder, 83, on Friday spoke with The Daily Mail and said that an anonymous letter was sent to the film’s studio, Skydance, accusing him of 40 years ago having “touched someone outside their clothes and referring to the female athletes he coached by inappropriate nicknames.” Kinder, in his interview with The Daily Mail, denied any misconduct and further said he was shocked at the news from earlier this week that the film will not move forward.
Kinder said he was contacted by investigators hired by Skydance after the letter was received and that he and the other subjects of the film, now all adult women, had informed him there was “nothing there” in terms of the investigations. He added that he is still close with the former players from the Sting Soccer Club team.
“They’ve all reported back to me that there was nothing. No one knows of anything specific that ever happened. There was nothing there, nothing ever happened,” Kinder told the Mail. “It’s disappointing news because we all felt everything was just being investigated as it should and there wasn’t anything there, so it wasn’t a big deal.”
A representative for Skydance had no comment.
Skydance on Wednesday pulled the plug on the film “Dallas Sting” just six weeks before it was set to begin production and as casting was nearly completed. The film would have told the true story of how Kinder coached a high school girls soccer team that in 1984 went to China and managed to beat some of the best women’s teams in the world from China, Australia, Japan and finally Italy in a championship game. You can see Kinder discussing the true story in the video from The Dallas Morning News above.
McConaughey would have played Kinder in the film, while Kaitlyn Dever was attached to play Kinder’s daughter. Kari Skogland (“Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) was attached to direct.
Kinder said that though the ’80s were a different culture than today, nothing was ever inappropriate or sexual in nature in regard to their behavior or nicknames.
“People were hugged and in dog piles and all kinds of things back in the 80s. But there was never anything along those lines,” Kinder told the Mail. “There weren’t nicknames that were vulgar or had any sexual connotations. If you’re going to nickname someone it’s usually someone you like. You don’t call someone fat, fatty. You might call them tiny.”
He continued: “It was all a fun thing, never anything vicious, nothing that the girls ever objected to,” adding that he has coached “thousands” of girls throughout his career and that this is the first time he has received complaints.
“Dallas Sting” had also cast several real-life soccer players to portray the girls of the 1984 team in the film. One of the women cast, Ryann Torrero, also spoke with The Daily Mail and said that she was informed earlier this week that the film would not be made.
“I’m devastated about the movie and this wonderful opportunity not moving forward as I know many people have worked extremely hard on it,” she said. “But the most important thing here is that any concerns about misconduct or abuse are investigated and if guilt is found then justice be served. I hope truth comes to light.”
“Dallas Sting” had a script from screenwriters Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch (“GLOW”). Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Robbie Rogers were all attached as producers, and the film had been acquired in an auction based on an unpublished article written by Flinder Boyd.