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Posts by gay4soccer
Alan Gordon spoke with the San Jose Mercury News after receiving a three-game suspension for using a gay slur in Sunday’s Earthquakes game against the Timbers.
He revealed that he has been in touch with out player Robbie Rogers through mutual friend Steven Lenhart to apologize, who understood how words can at times slip out at the heat of the game.
Gordon far from uses the heat of the moment as an excuse when he spoke with the Mercury News, though:
“I’m the furthest thing from being homophobic,” Gordon said. “That’s why it hurt. I can honestly appreciate the sensitively of the word if I put myself in other people’s shoes. That has not come out of my mouth since high school. It’s not language I use. It’s despicable.”
There are more powerful quotes from Alan Gordon in the Mercury News piece. They also spoke with the You Can Play Project’s Patrick Burke, who with David Testo will be doing diversity training with the team soon.
According to the LA Galaxy Insider, coach Bruce Arena did not say if he was approached by Rogers, but he would be welcomed back to training with open arms.
From the Insider:
“He’d always be welcome to train with us,” LA’s head coach said. ”I’m in contact with players and people all the time in the game, and I don’t make my conversations or communications public. They don’t need to be. But he’s always welcome to train with us.”
You Can Play provides a very unique training opportunity for the Quakes, because they bring both the expertise of LGBT advocates like founder Brendan Burke and the experience of LGBT athletes to its learning experiences. Former MLS and NASL midfielder David Testo is a member of the YCP board, and will play a role in the Quakes training.
The entire Earthquakes squad will be going through the training sessions, and not just Alan Gordon, who is mandated by the League to undergo diversity training.
From the Earthquakes’ release:
“We have enlisted the You Can Play Project to meet with our players and coaches to discuss the issues facing LGBT athletes in sports,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “They have built a great organization and we look forward to learning from their expertise and to furthering our work toward true unity in our locker room.”
Last week You Can Play entered a formal partnership with the National Hockey League and its Players Association. While not yet a partnership of this level, it’s great to see an MLS team working with YCP!
Robbie Rogers has joined the Advisory Board of Athlete Ally, the group founded by wrestler Hudson Taylor to further LGBT acceptance in sports. It is Rogers’ first official role as an LGBT advocate.
In joining Athlete Ally, Rogers said:
As I continue to tell my story and appreciate its impact, I want to work with Athlete Ally and its team of professional and college athletes, coaches and administrators to ensure that all LGBT people –- whether closeted or out –- feel respected and empowered in sports. It’s important to me that my insight and experiences are put to good use and it’s a pleasure to work with Athlete Ally toward that end.
Professional soccer is the most well-represented sport in the Athlete Ally Ambassador program, with 16 of the 30 athletes represented coming from MLS or NASL. Robbie Rogers’ Maryland teammates Chris Seitz and AJ DeLaGarza are both Ambassadors.
One of the assumed big fears for a male pro coming out of the closet is the loss of endorsement deals, and it looks like Nike is looking to allay that worry.
According to a recent interview, when pro basketball executive Rick Welts came out of the closet two years ago Nike sent him a message to pass along to closeted players. They want the first out player in American professional sports to be an endorser.
Nike has done pro-LGBT work in the past, releasing pride t-shirts, holding a summit, and even doing a giveaway with Megan Rapinoe last year on behalf of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.
Now Welts has said, “They made it clear to me Nike would embrace it. The player who does it, they’re going to be amazed at the additional opportunities that are put on the table, not the ones that are taken off.”
Nike is Robbie Rogers’ boot of choice. Just sayin’.
The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee has suspended San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon three games for his use of a gay slur Sunday night in the Quakes’ match against the Portland Timbers.
This is in addition to an automatic one-game suspension for being ejected from the game after receiving a second yellow card after elbowing Timbers player Mikael Silvestre.
Alan Gordon will also be fined an undisclosed amount and attend diversity training beyond that which is part of the standard preseason training.
Said Commissioner Don Garber:
Major League Soccer stands against discrimination and prejudice of any kind and will not tolerate this type of behavior. All of our players, staff and fans must remain committed to respect and dignity at all times.
It’s commendable to see the League act so quickly and maintain the same zero tolerance policy and repercussions set last season. Beyond the League-mandated punishment it would be great to see Gordon go above and beyond what is demanded and use this time to reach out to his local LGBT community, much like Marc Burch did during the off-season.
Our writer in Boston Adam posted this to Facebook last night. I share it here with his permission.
There’s a certain sobriety in Boston tonight. This city that more than two hundred years ago shed blood, sweat and tears to establish a way of life, today shed blood, sweat and tears as that way of life was assaulted.
But we call today Patriots Day in honor of those who fought for us once, and we will call it Patriots Day forever in honor of those who worked to protect and rescue us in an hour of crisis.
On this day and in this place, men and women have fought and died and lived to protect this idea of Boston. And my heart breaks for each and every one of them.
I live in this magnificent city, the Hub of the Universe, the City on a Hill. No madman can take that away from me. And certainly not on Patriots Day.
Robbie Rogers will be giving his first television interviews since coming out two months ago tonight, on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN and Nightline on ABC.
Nightline has this blog post about the interview and has put out this teaser video:
They say, “Rogers is considering a return to soccer in the United States, which would make him the first and only openly gay player in any professional men’s team sport.”
Anderson Cooper, for his part, Tweeted:
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) April 15, 2013
We’ll be live tweeting both interviews tonight, with Anderson Cooper 360 airing at 8 PM ET on CNN and Nightline airing at 12:35 AM ET on ABC.
Soccer overwhelmingly becomes the most well-represented sport in the Athlete Ally Ambassador program.
A dozen members of the NASL team Minnesota United FC as well as their head coach and assistant coach have all joined the Athlete Ally Ambassador program.
With the twelve Minnesota players joining Major League Soccer’s Chris Seitz, AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, and Stephen McCarthy, 16 of the 30 athletes in the Ambassador program come from professional soccer, making it by far the number one sport represented.
Minnesota United’s president Nick Rogers (no relation) recently joined the board of Athlete Ally. Founder Hudson Taylor said this of the new additions to the program:
Nick activating 12 of his players in less than a week of joining the advisory board is incredibly impressive. All of these young men have fans of their own, are world-class athletes, and are catalysts for progress among the international soccer community.
Forward Alan Gordon clearly used a gay slur in the 60th minute of last night’s MLS match between his San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers.
The look on Gordon’s face immediately afterward showed a keen awareness of what he had just said, and his apparent target Will Johnson flashed him the number three as a sign of the now-standard three-game suspension that was issued to Colin Clark and Marc Burch last year. (Incidentally, while with Salt Lake Johnson was also who Burch directed the same insult toward.)
Deadspin captured the video and slowed down the moment in question.
Following the match Alan Gordon issued a statement via the Earthquakes’ website:
I sincerely apologize for what I said in our game tonight. Although I said it in the heat of the moment, that language has no place in our game. That is not my character, but there is still no excuse for saying what I said. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.
Beyond the expected suspension for this incident, Alan Gordon also has an automatic one game suspension as he was ejected from the game for a second yellow card for elbowing Portland’s Mikael Silvestre. It will also be interesting to see if Gordon does anything beyond any suspension handed down by the Disciplinary Committee, much like Marc Burch did in Seattle over the off season.
Will Johnson scored the lone goal of the game, a beautiful free kick leading to the Portland Timbers’ 1-0 win.