HARRISON, NJ - OCTOBER 09: Rafa Marquez #4 of the New York Red Bulls looks on against Real Salt Lake on October 9, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Red Bulls tied Real Salt Lake 0-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
"I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn't an equal level between my teammates and I." -Rafa Marquez
I'm not an athlete, I've never been one so my understanding on the locker room dynamic is limited. However, as a human who has engaged in a variety of relationships in the last 31 years (I'm dating myself) I think I understand the importance of not selling out people you work with. You don't have to like your co-workers, you don't have to think they are good people or capable of carrying their weight, but you do have to work with them. Part of being a good person is being able to deal with adversity and less than ideal situations with dignity and professionalism. Basically, being the better person.
New York Red Bulls' designated player Rafa Marquez doesn't understand this line of thinking and his comments after the Red Bulls home loss to Real Salt Lake last night prove it.
Was it a knee-jerk reaction to the fans booing him relentlessly all night every time he touched the ball? Possibly.
Can I sympathize with being frustrated with having thousands of people think you're not doing your job well? Actually yes.
Can I defend his comments? No f**king way.
Rafa Marquez is one of the highest paid players in Major League Soccer, part of a roster that includes guys making a fraction of his salary and the best thing he can do is completely call them out and insult their abilities to the media? That's pathetic and if I were Hank Backe (thankfully I'm not) or someone in-charge in the NYRB organization, I'd march in to training today and tell Marquez to get the f**k out. Take your money and go away.
This kind of behavior is completely unprofessional and unacceptable and for a team that is struggling on and off the field this is the last thing they need. Red Bulls just jacked up ticket prices, fans are irate and Rafa thinks it's a good idea to insult his teammates? The organization needs to show some backbone and tell Marquez to go home and never come back. It's the right thing to do and it just might win them some kind of support from their agitated fan base.
If they allow Marquez to stay, what kind of message does that send to the rest of the team? Would you want to keep working hard and playing with an asshole like that? I doubt it.
The New York Red Bulls were a mess last night and this morning, they are an absolute disaster. This team still has a chance to make the playoffs but to do it, the team has to come together. Instead of being a leader and trying to save the season, Rafa Marquez just stuck a piece of dynamite in the wheels and lit the fuse.
One more thing. Can Shep Messing please stop trying to tell us that Rafa Marquez is a great guy? A great guy doesn't throw his teammates under the proverbial bus.