MLS Fans to Show Racism the Red Card

Posted in Fan Culture, Other MLS, Seattle, Vancouver

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Published on March 21, 2012 with 6 Comments

Update: Whitecaps Front Office to turn BC Place in support of Southsiders anti-racism efforts

MLS fans across the continent are set to make a definitive stand against racism.

This card will be waved across North America with different SG logos

Immediately after the anthems at the Vancouver Whitecaps v DC United match this weekend, members of the Vancouver Southsiders will raise red cards to show their opposition to racism.

They will not be alone.

In Seattle, members of Gorilla FC will do the same at their March 31st match with San Jose Earthquakes.

An earlier press release from Gorilla FC said:

“We are hoping the Front Office supports this and makes it an even bigger event/display and recognition that Sounders FC takes a stand against Racism.

Our Red Card hold up is on 3/31 vs San Jose after the anthem. Right now, the plan is to have 3000 red cards held up. We are hoping we get 36,000 red cards held up!”

The initial response from Sounders Front Office was promising though a little cautious:

Bart Wiley, Sounders FC Director Business Operations told us:

“The club will work with supporters to message on video boards and possibly through PA announcements exactly what the red card demonstration symbolizes…and possibly more as we talk further.”

The ‘more’ to which Wiley alludes may be to actually assist with the purchase of the cards, rather than leave the cost to Gorilla FC.

If they did do so, 36,000 Sounders fans would be able to demonstrate their opposition to racism. Gorilla FC’s finances are not thought to be able to stretch to financing cards for the whole stadium.

The Sounders Front Office assisted in this way to show goodwill message to both Charlie Davies and Steve Zakuani, paying for cards with their shirt numbers on. It was in fact Sounders minority shareholder Drew Carey who paid for the Davies cards after he responded positively to a fan led initiative.

The Front Office may be waiting to take their lead from Major League Soccer although that is pure conjecture on our part.

The Southsiders and Gorilla FC’s show of principle will spread across North America with all the Supporters Groups who are members of the Independent Supporters Council (ISC) participating.

The move comes as part of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

A Timbers Army spokesman confirmed that they were ‘planning their own thing in support of the ISC initiative and details are still being worked out.’

MLS Endorses ISC anti-Racism Campaign





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6 Comments

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  1. Steve Zakuani is a direct concern to Sounders fans. Charlie Davies is a direct concern to US soccer fans.

    Racism, monkey chants, bananas hurled onto the pitch towards African players… that is the sort of vulgarity that is of concern in Europe, where they have never had a civil rights movement, and where racism is a notorious, ongoing problem. There is no reason to presume that the Sounders FO would want to insult its fans by implying that we have a racism problem that is remoutely comparable to that of Europe.

  2. No other set of fans is claiming ‘insulted’ by being asked to support this. We are having something in Portland. Vancouver is joining this too. So are many other clubs.

    In neither place, it is being suggested that racism is a problem on the scale of Russia and nobody is taking it that way. To claim that being asked to support this is implying guilt is one of the more idiotic objections around the internet.

    If only you guys could see how bad the opposition to this in some quarters is making the whole Seattle fanbase look. I’m a Timbers fan and shouldn’t care but frankly if Seattle is the only place where this UN sponsored day sees opposition, don’t be surprised if some of that sticks.

  3. I agree with you Buckman. Dave S., it is not such a problem here, but that doesn’t mean we should not show our support for bringing this vile practice/belief to an end. I am proud of our city and team. I think our tifo from opening night shows how the supporters truly feel. Racism is everyone’s concern regardless of where you are from, or if it rears it’s ugly head where you live. I think on this all supporters around the country can agree, if nothing else. I’ll have my red card ready if I have to make it my own damn self!

  4. I’m all for being against racism, but at risk of sounding like a jerk, I have to say the whole thing feels kind of gimmicky. It just seems like we could do this every week all year long. Give red cards to breast cancer, human trafficking, war atrocities, intercity violence, autism, spousal abuse, child abuse, nuclear weapons, whatever the issue of the moment is.

    Has the cost analysis really shown that racism is the most pressing issue? Maybe FIFA wide, racism and soccer has a larger intersection than the aforementioned issues, but I’m not seeing its relevance here in any other capacity than solidarity with FIFA. Racism in this part of the world is subtle, and this kind of vocal show of support is more aimed at ending overt racism. The same people holding up red cards at the game claiming to be anti racism will go to work and subconsciously judge their coworkers based on race just like they always do (myself included, being a human being and all).

  5. Are ECS not supporting this initiative and if not, why? They already seem to have turned their noses up at the whole ISC. Good to see Gorilla FC at least standing up for us Seattle fans. Disappointed again in ECS. Didn’t know the E stood for ego in their name.

  6. It’s an ISC display and they are not ISC. ECS has told their members about the display and that if they want to participate they should bring their own red cards (which is what GFC said people should do in their press release). How is that egotistical at all?

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