The Slur Heard Around The League – Some Dynamo Fans’ Views
When I went out of town this weekend and put the Houston Dynamo versus Seattle Sounders game on my DVR list, I never expected to come home to this game. I knew that the Dynamo lost and that Colin Clark said something controversial, but I didn’t look into it immediately. Instead I decided that I would wait and watch it myself. In hindsight I should have clicked on those news links because I was beyond unprepared for what I heard.
Personally, as a Dynamo fan and season ticket holder, I was immediately embarrassed. In all of the seasons that I’ve been a fan I have never heard anything so thoughtless come out of a players mouth, which says a lot considering all of the things Bobby Boswell has said in anger. In all seriousness though, I have a lot of faith that Dominic Kinnear came down on him. I know we haven’t heard anything official, but Kinnear is known to hold each player responsible for their actions and words on the pitch, and I hope this situation is no different. I also hope that the fans will hold him responsible for his actions. While Colin Clark wears our crest over his heart he represents every single one of us in his words and his actions and to me this is unacceptable.
In order to put the situation in some perspective, I talked to a straight male Dynamo fan. When I asked him what he thought and how he reacted, this is what he told me; “As a straight man who has played sports I’m sad to say that I get why that was the first thing that popped into his head. Discrimination like that is rampant within sports, especially between guy teammates. The difference is that usually, you get that it’s not an okay thing to say, especially in public. I’d never say anything like that or expect to hear anything like that if I knew there were cameras around. It’s just not cool. Mostly I was shocked that it wasn’t directed at another player. It was directed at a ball kid. While there is a culture of discrimination in sports, calling a kid who has no part in the game a f****ng f****t is terrible and stupid.”
I am glad that Colin Clark took it upon himself to tweet, what seemed to me, an honest and sincere apology. However, I do hope that he makes an official apology to the press once Major League Soccer’s investigation is complete. While the apology seemed sincere, there was no reason for Clark to make excuses for himself. He should own what he did. In order for discrimination to end within the league, there needs to be a zero tolerance policy. As Major League Soccer grows and evolves fans should take a page out of the English Premiere League’s book and start movements similar to the Red Card Homophobia initiative. If this league hopes to compete on an international level the players, fans, and directors should understand that this is the world’s game. Soccer is such a beautiful game because it belongs to us all, regardless of race, language or sexual orientation. There is no room for ugly language in the beautiful game.