Soccer Politics

Deadspin’s article “MLS Escalates Dumb Fan Feud, Suspends Portland Timbers Supporters For Waving Iron Front Banners” brings light to the fact that the MLS has banned part of the Portland Timbers’ ultra group “Timber Army” for violating the MLS policy which outlaws any kind of political banners during MLS games by flying a flag displaying the sign of the 1930s anti-nazi movement from Germany called Iron Front.

This ban caused nationwide protests and push back from the MLS fan scene, arguing that displaying anti-racist and anti-fascist sign should not be considered political. I think this article is newsworthy because it shows a fundamental dilemma that the MLS has. In order to make the league as marketable as possible, the MLS does not allow political signage in their games but like most other soccer fan scenes across the globe, ultra groups of MLS teams are politically engaged and use the stands as a platform to show their stance against racism and fascism. The league’s attempt to not offend anybody led to most of their current fans being outraged and might hurt the attendance of their games.

This article was aimed at sports fans in general and the informal style of writing and reporting makes it accessible for most age groups but also makes the article appear less valid. Overall, the author stays objective but gets caught criticizing the MLS inputs of the article. He describes the situation and problem at hand well and does a good job showing what consequences this band might have. A little less subjectivity would give this article even more validity.

One thought on “Soccer Politics”

  1. This is pretty standard for Deadspin. I like the site, but it doesn’t do much of its own reporting. Instead it picks up news from other sources and comments on it. They would say they put it into context.

    So you’re not going to get standard leads or organization. The writers get paid by clicks, I think, so they tend to sensationalize. This story also features crazy-long paragraphs. That’s a big no.

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