Categories
Alliance Council Democracy in Sports Editorials

Alliance Council statement – call out to MLS

1 November 2017

By Martin Buckley and Stephanie Steiner

As the Alliance Council, representing Alliance Members and fans of Seattle Sounders FC, we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our communities.

Alliance Council and Supporter Groups have worked closely with the Sounders FC throughout the years around the fan experience inside and outside of the stadium.  We gave our strong opinions back in September following a series of incidents. We know that Community is important to all of us, and we continue to have a regular face-to-face engagement to advocate for and represent all fans.

We have seen how Alliance members and fellow fans have not been treated as expected – both at home and last weekend in Vancouver, BC. As fans we have been left frustrated, angry and confused at the vacuum in communication around these serious issues. We encourage all Sounders fans to respect and support each other as a community.

Alliance Council recognize our Club Ownership and Front Office for their continued support – both visible and otherwise. We applaud our Ownership in issuing a jointly signed, though delayed, statement of values: “At a human level, we believe these values to be non-­political. Speaking up for equality is simply the right thing to do.” We believe their statement was originally intended to be stronger, and we believe the dilution and the delay to be caused by MLS decision-makers.

Alliance Council look beyond our Club to Major League Soccer to provide a clear statement of values that recognizes the diversity of the fan base. The silence in this matter is deafening, disappointing and cowardly.  The decision made to eject our fans last Sunday was wrong, and the silence surrounding the decision is wrong.

Soccer is a global platform of inclusion and unity, and even a common language. Soccer is love, passion, and lifelong devotion.  It is these commitments that create the very foundations of Clubs around the world that have existed for more than a century.  Fans first, MLS.  Fans first.

Thanks to Jeff Williams and Roberta King for their content and for reviewing this statement.

Statement from Sounders FC was posted here – http://soundersalliance.org/2017/10/31/statement-from-club/

 

4 replies on “Alliance Council statement – call out to MLS”

The Council obviously only meets once a month, but I think it would add to the intent and power of the statement if:

1) Council would vote and recognize on a statement.
2) Publish the statement with all members signing the statement.

I applaud the effort of AC and taking leadership and promoting the values of the Alliance members as a whole.

Like

I believe the Sounders were justified in delaying their statement of values and of the MLS being silent in this matter. Noting on a sign that Sounders are, “anti-fascist” is not a value, it is a political statement. It can’t be taken any other way.

Fascism in this modern era is usually deployed as a political insult about a particular policy or group. Recently, it is being used as an insult to people that have conservative values, are Republican, or voted for President Trump.

Did anyone ask what the intent was of noting, “anti-fascist” on their sign? Even if it wasn’t intended as a political insult, how would anyone viewing the sign know otherwise? It is wrong to post an ambiguous message that people have been using as hate against other groups.

The MLS and Sounders did the right thing by not endorsing the “anti-fascist” portion of this message. As noted, “…we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our communities.” Even the ones that politically we don’t agree with. I think the Alliance Council is on the wrong side of this issue and should look harder at truly recognizing the diversity of the fan base.

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s