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MLS suspends own writer
by Paul Kennedy, May 2nd, 2012 6:33PM

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TAGS:  mls, online

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[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Major League Soccer suspended Simon Borg, a writer for MLSsoccer.com, for seven days for remarks Borg made on the league web site's ExtraTime Radio podcast concerning female "superfans."

The remarks by Borg, a regular on the podcast and a former member of MLS's communications staff:

"It's fine if you're a female and you want to be a super-fan. Clearly go for it, that's your choice. But there is something to be said for how appealing that might be to the other sex. Having a woman that's such a fan, like painting your face, tuning in to every podcast. I don't know how many males would be into that. It's great that in Kansas City there are a lot of women in the stands, it's great, but for the guy who wants maybe a serious relationship... If you are following just casually, but if you're such a die-hard, I don't know, it comes a point that it is a bit of a [I don't want to say] turn-off..."

MLS's statement:

"During the latest episode of the ExtraTime Radio podcast on MLSsoccer.com, one of the hosts -- Simon Borg -- made inappropriate remarks regarding female fans of Major League Soccer. These remarks were unacceptable and in no way reflect the values of MLS, its clubs, players, staff, or MLSsoccer.com. We apologize on behalf of our organization for those remarks. Respect for diversity is a core principle of MLS and we are proud of the diversity of our League and its fans."



11 comments
  1. Gregory Pappas
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.
    Stupid comments that are clearly Borg's personal opinion - and probably not shared by most male soccer fans. But not a heinous offense worthy of suspension nor is it even newsworthy.

  1. Cesar Sastre
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 9:06 a.m.
    Seriously?! It is an opinion only. Agree or not, just an opinion. Who really cares? What happened to our 1st Amendment free press and free speech? Watch out for the thought police. Communism is coming! Great times we are living in.

  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 9:44 a.m.
    Stupid. Logically, if being a female super-fan is a turn-off to males, then being a male super-fan is probably a turn-off to females. So what is this representative of the MLS saying (on MLSsoccer.com, no less), that it's stupid to be a super-fan? Or that women should know their place? Either way this is awkward and reflects poorly on MLS. As for the "1st Amendment rights" argument, get a clue. That only applies to government restriction. MLS is in no way obligated to support or pay anyone who works against their brand.

  1. StrikerBob Norman
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.
    Sorry for you, Simon. Boys can't be boys anymore, and girls can't be girls. Welcome to the brave, new world! I understand your indelicately put point, and your worst sin is that being a writer you should have been more prosaic. What he was saying, Ramon, is that most men prefer girly girls and most women prefer manly men. No, it is not pc, just human nature.

  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
    Robert, MLS is trying to sell a product, and from that standpoint what Borg--an MLSsoccer.com employee--said is unfortunate. But what gets me is, what exactly is the "problem" Borg felt so compelled to address? "Boys can't be boys anymore" is certainly not true. I've been to DCU games, and boys indeed can be boys, and girls certainly can be girls, no one is stopping them that I can see, and everyone seems to have a good time. And if women wish to be super-fans, good for them! These are matters of personal choice, and I just don't get Borg's issue with it. Live and let live, and quit denigrating entire categories of people ("women super-fans" in this case). As for what Borg said: If a subject is awkward and indelicate, perhaps that's a sign that there is no good reason to bring it up.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
    Borg's comment was quite silly, yet, a reprimand would have been sufficient with a follow-up article. Women, no matter how ardent soccer fans they may be, are crucial to the sport. Ths 'boys will be boys' cliche is outdated and really serves no purpose in the sports culture. Whatever ones gender, being a sports fanatic is ones personal privilege of expression.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
    The guy was clearly an idiot, who wouldn't love eager enthusiastic female fans in the stands?? :-)

  1. John Soares
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
    More stupid and ignorant than simply silly. If he was trying to draw attention to himself... mission acomplished. As to free speech. Borg has every right to say/express his opinion. His employer has every right to fire him.

  1. Ken Jamieson
    commented on: May 3, 2012 at 6:42 p.m.
    Any woman that is as fanatical about soccer as I am is okay in my books. I guess Simon would rather they shook their pomp-pomps or flipped burgers instead of actually enjoying and understanding the game, which I am sure he thinks is the sole province of the male soccer fan. Let's face it, if someone, anyone in the US shows interest in soccer the sport is best served by cultivating that interest not trivializing it. That is where Simon has done a major disservice to the game.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: May 4, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.
    Non-story, non-issue. Anytime women want to paint body parts, get crazy and share a pint, I'm for it! The worst part is they feel compelled to act on an employee's opinion at all, if such was stated as opinion to begin with. If not, the whole context, including questioning by the host, comments by other guests etc., would need to be considered. We live in a really stupid society that is intent on teaching victimization to the masses!!

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: May 5, 2012 at 7:28 a.m.
    Clearly this was a rather uncalled for statement, and MLS is well within it's rights to reprimand an employee for saying something stupid... BUT, this was and is an overreaction to a off hand stupid remark. The real split that I've experienced at matches in the States hasn't been over Women getting into the spirit of being fans... it's been the split between those people who enjoy the "party" side of supporting their team and those who want EVERYTHING to always be "Family Friendly"... Borg could have but didn't get into THAT issue, but it is a real fault line in the crowds. I clearly remember that along with other things that helped the NASL die, one was the concession to a part of the fan base to limit the "Rowdier" Tailgating/partying part from behaving "Badly"... it helped kill what was a great atmosphere at Minnesota Kicks matches dropping their crowd size to a third of what it had been... I'd say that there are those now getting upset say at Timbers matches when hearing "We're Green, We're White, We're F*cking Dynamite" yet there are many who are there precisely BECAUSE they can be part of that Rowdy crowd, both Men and Women... and this sort of reaction to anyone bringing up anything controversial is troubling because it sends a signal that you should only say "Nice" things on the Podcast and only be "supportive" of whatever is being trotted out as the "correct" view on things. Clearly Borg is a bit of a clown, but there ARE things that effect how you grow your fan base and from my experience it is often the effort to quash the "Adult" party side of the crowd that gets little or no attention, but certainly SHOULD... and this reaction tells me it likely won't, at least no from the MLS media itself. ... (ICE)


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