A New York Times Magazine journalist parachuted into Seattle and declared that American soccer has a racism problem. The lack of supporting evidence is immense. The topic of racism in sports is quite valuable, but building truths on foundations of fiction is not journalism. Ignoring meetings with ECS leadership and with TA leadership, the article presents a single person's vision of American soccer. The author even ignores suggested meetings with La Barra Fuerza Verde, ECS' largest subgroup, one with signage in the stadium and that provides a capo or two every match.
Many took to social media angry at the author for the gross misrepresentation of American soccer fans. A few were irrational and proved his point. Others, pointed out the lack of supporting evidence and the refusal to meet with the victims of the racial slights that are never mentioned. MLS Commissioner Don Garber praised those people.
Garber took it a touch further. This is not a point-by-point rebuttal. This is a verbal drubbing from the most powerful man in American soccer starting at 1:01 in the video above.
This reporter's wrongful perspective that our groups weren't representing the great diversity of our cities or our fanbase. And it just, like, unfortunately things can be with the media, [was] poorly reported, factually incorrect, irresponsible, lack of any research whatsoever. Frankly, something like this should never see the light of day - particularly here in Seattle, an incredibly diverse fanbase.
Overall MLS has 30% of our fanbase being Hispanic. We're the only league, of all the major leagues, that has an exclusive prime time television contract in Spanish language, Spanish language radio. We are the league for New America. For anyone to think otherwise, they've just got their head in the sand.
Question by Matt Johnson: What is your step to educate those that don't know?
I think our colleges need to train better journalists. It's one of those things. You look at it and you scratch your head and you wonder how anything like this [is written]. This is not some blog. This was the New York Times. They know better. It just was a bad piece of reporting.
What empowers me is to see the guy getting scorched in social media. It just was not representative of good journalism.