HOUSTON - JULY 28: Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber looks on during the MLS All Star Game at Reliant Stadium on July 28 2010 in Houston Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
In the wake of Don Garber's interview with Brian Straus (Part 1 and Part 2), lots has been written about The Don's comments concerning the "You Suck Asshole" chant and other perceived vulgarities coming from supporters groups. While most of us agree that YSA is dumb and unoriginal, the issue has never really been about YSA, it's about MLS being scared shit-less of losing their spot at the golden trough of television money, and they're right to be scared.
MLS draws pretty lousy ratings in general, so the last thing the league thinks it needs is curse words coming across the broadcast and upsetting the network overlords. Forget the fact it happens all the time during NFL broadcasts. They get monster ratings so the rules don't really apply to them. Add to that the fact that the Supreme Court has dipped it's toe in the water on the issue of language and the FCC's ability to punish networks over it and there's a considerable amount of gray area around this issue.
At the heart of the issue is MLS trying to find a balance between the passionate and aggressive support that looks so good in marketing and the league's never ending pursuit of the family friendly crowd. What MLS wants is SGs that look great, but sound like a 6th-grade musical.
Lots has been written in response to Garber's comment, smarter stuff than I'm going to be able to offer up. So, I'm posting links here for you to read to two posts I specifically enjoyed. I figured since Houston has dealt with issues lately (and Garber specifically mentions Houston in the interview), it might be a topic worthy of discussion here among the DT community.
Ben Massey (Eighty Six Forever): "You Suck Asshole" and MLS Threatening Its Golden Goose
Abram Chamberlain (Soccer Newsday): The Commish's Ill-Timed Comments on Cussing
What do you think about the Don's comments? Is vulgarity a problem that needs to be eradicated from MLS or is this another example of MLS not grasping how to deal with the supporter's culture?
One quick point. I'd like to applaud the Houston SG's for not using the YSA chant, but I really can't. You'll typically hear a Spanish homophobic slur used instead during goal kicks by the opposing goalkeeper. It needs to go away as well and in my opinion is far worse than YSA.