MLS’ Extra Time Radio Takes on the Colin Clark Incident
The Tuesday morning edition of MLSSoccer.com’s Extra Time Radio tackled the Colin Clark incident from Friday night.
I tried to transcribe it all, but it was a thankfully long discussion with some good points, and sadly some poor ones as well, so I jotted down the main ones to address. I also apologize in advance for not knowing all of the speakers by their voices, so only know who said some things based on them being pointed out to me directly.
The full conversation can be found here, from about the 21 minute mark to the 31 minute mark.
The salient points:
- Simon Borg. Oh, Simon Borg. Simon pretty much spent the entire conversation saying that if you suspend Clark for this you need to suspend every player who drops the f-bomb on the field. Simon, you need to head over to GLSEN’s research page and see that almost 85% of GLBT youth are verbally harassed with that word and others like it in their schools; they don’t need to hear the athletes they look up to harassing each other with it as well. Kids are killing themselves out there, Simon. KILLING THEMSELVES. And this is something I take very personally and seriously. I shudder to think if that kid or another one who heard this is gay himself or herself and has to endure hearing that word hurled at him daily.
- There was a good conversation about how this is different than Lee Nguyen’s tweet during preseason and the league not handling that with any disciplinary action. Yes, maybe that should have been handled with more harshness and a good point was made on ETR that non-action then doesn’t mean there can’t be action now, and maybe if there had been action then maybe this incident would not have happened at all. This is something I personally struggle with knowing that we as a site didn’t push for some sort of punishment against Nguyen when he gave a similar apology and desire to do work to learn from his actions. Is it the target (teammate vs. ball boy)? Is it the audience that heard the comment (Twitter vs. a national TV broadcast) ? I don’t know, and please forgive me for not knowing and let’s work on this one together.
- Finally, the discussion ended with the wonderful statement from Greg Lalas that the league should take a lead in sports that this kind of language isn’t a good thing. That the league should take a stand and be progressive. In response to Simon someone also said games should be an atmosphere where players should be able to go to the disciplinary committee or referee and report this sort of behavior even if it’s not caught on a microphone. Amen and amen.