San Jose Earthquakes
Marc Burch is not a dickhead.
Robbie Rogers is on the August cover of Out Magazine for an issue focused on sports. It’s quite a good interview done by who is probably the best writer at Here Media, who publishes both Out and The Advocate. It covers his playing, his coming out, and his personal life with a balance you don’t often see from gay media outlets. I haven’t yet mentioned the Out Magazine interview on this site, and this will be the only time I mention it.
I’m not going to mention Out Magazine and their otherwise good interview with Robbie Rogers because the magazine has also published an online slideshow called the “21 Biggest Dickheads in Sports: 2013 Edition.” Seattle’s Marc Burch and San Jose’s Alan Gordon both appear on the list along with athletes from basketball, ultimate fighting, hockey, gridiron football, and baseball.
On Monday, July 15, the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves take on USL PRO’s Antigua Barracuda FC in a match benefiting the You Can Play Project.
The match will take place at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium, the former home of the San Francisco 49ers located in Golden Gate Park. Tickets, available from the Quakes Front Office and at the stadium on game day, are $10 with all proceeds benefiting the work of You Can Play.
San Jose and You Can Play’s relationship began when YCP was chosen to provide diversity training after Alan Gordon used a gay slur during a game earlier this season. Not only did they work with Gordon, but they also brought their training to the entire team and academy. Since then You Can Play and all of Major League Soccer have entered a formal partnership and the Quakes have participated in two You Can Play videos.
The match against Antigua is the Quakes Reserves’ only match against USL PRO competition this season. They have 2 wins and 3 losses so far against MLS Reserves competitors.
Details on the match, including how Season Ticket Holders can get free vouchers for Appreciation Week, are at the Quakes’ website.
The San Jose Earthquakes have become the third team in Major League Soccer to produce a video supporting LGBT athletes for the You Can Play Project.
According to You Can Play founder Patrick Burke, the effort was spearheaded by Alan Gordon who recruited his teammates and got the team’s front office on board. Burke met with the entire San Jose Earthquakes team and academy after Gordon used a gay slur on the field earlier this season.
Appearing in the video are forward Chris Wondolowski, forward Steven Lenhart, midfielder Shea Salinas, midfielder Sam Cronin, forward Alan Gordon, defender Justin Morrow, defender Steven Beitashour, and defender Jason Hernandez. (Thanks to Robert Jonas for an assist on identifying all the participants)
DC United and Toronto FC have also made videos for You Can Play, and Chris Wondolowski participated in a video with players from every major Bay Area professional team.
2013 Major League Soccer MVP and US Mens National Team player Chris Wondolowski has joined other Bay Area athletes to star in a video produced by Comcast SportsNet for the You Can Play Project.
Wondo, along with players from the Raiders, 49ers, Sharks, Warriors, Giants, and A’s, share the message that athletes are welcome on their teams no matter their sexual orientation. Every Bay Area major professional team is represented.
The ads are were produced by Comcast SportsNet Bay area along with the You Can Play Project. CSN Bay Area and CSN California both broadcast San Jose Earthquakes games so look for the spots on upcoming broadcasts.
You Can Play Founder Patrick Burke told USA Today: “We absolutely want to take this from the Bay Area to other cities. There’s no reason this shouldn’t go from the Bay Area to L.A., to Toronto, to Boston, to Chicago. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be done in every city.” Other regions for Comcast SportsNet cover the Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, DC United, New England Revolution, and Philadelphia Union, so here’s to hoping that this is the first of many videos like this to hit the airwaves.
More Major League Soccer supporters groups had pride and anti-homophobia displays in the stands this past weekend. It’s all part of marking the International Day Against Homophobia that took place on May 17.
The New England Revolution shut out Toronto FC 2-0 Saturday and the Midnight Riders put on a huge display boasting marriage equality in all of the states in that corner of the country. The Comcast Sports Network gave them recognition on their broadcast of the match:
The Allies List has crossed the one hundred mark for Major League Soccer players represented and now it’s time for the San Jose Earthquakes to add to the ranks.
The Quakes have just been through a time of learning over the past few weeks following Alan Gordon’s use of a homophobic slur on the field, but the team already has a few allies. Mike Fucito took part in a Seattle-wide It Gets Better video while with the Sounders. Sam Garza and Dan Gargan both joined the list last season, and Dan Gargan represented the Chicago Fire last summer at an event for Equality Illinois.
Let’s get some Quakes to join this trio. Use the list below to ask players on Twitter to become allies by tweeting to us at @gay4soccer or with the #soccerally hashtag.
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.
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.
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.
Soccer Ally May is off to a great start. Two teams that started off the month with no players on the list — Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City — each have five players represented as Soccer Allies.
Sporting Kansas City is having a match at the end of the month at which they’ll be honoring Show Me Pride in their city, and their opponents for the game are the San Jose Earthquakes. San Jose also starts off our recruitment campaign with no players on the Soccer Ally list, and hopefully a push to contact their players today can keep this recruitment month going strong.
Please help us contact Quakes players throughout the day today. Have them Tweet at us or use the #soccerally hashtag and we’ll be watching both for responses.