What They're Saying: MLS Players Union

"To hear the President of the United States single out certain professional athletes and call for their termination of employment was jarring and disappointing, as was his disregard for player health and safety. Like NFL players, and players across the North American sports landscape, MLS players spend countless hours off the field doing charitable work that makes a significant impact in the communities in which they play. All players have every right to exercise their Constitutional rights and we will do everything in our power to defend those rights when they are challenged."

-- MLS Players Union's statement, in response to President Donald Trump's statements regarding protests during NFL games. (@MLSPlayersUnion via Twitter)
34 comments about "What They're Saying: MLS Players Union".
  1. ckg beautiful game, September 26, 2017 at 7:28 a.m.

    Wa wa wa wa

  2. David Trapp, September 26, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

    Are you serious? MLS Union please don't make the same mistake as the NFL and NBA. Go play your matches, and keep politics out of it. Your fans are only fans of your soccer playing abilities, not your stupid politics. DUH!

  3. Valerie Metzler from Valerie Metzler Archivist/Historian, September 26, 2017 at 10:34 a.m.

    Well said, MLS Union! Well said. Keep up the good work!

  4. Rusty Welch, September 26, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

    While I totally agree that President Trump's comments were not only un-warranted, but ill-advised, if the MLS Player's Union thinks that having players disrespect our country is acceptable behavior, they will cripple this sport. The MLSPU apparently also needs a class on the Constitution - while the players have every right to protest on their own time, their employer has every right to decide that at work, they are not allowed to show such disrespect for our country and founding values. They seem confused and ignorant on that issue.
    So upshot - instead of taking advantage of the NFL's suicide pact with disgruntled anti-American protests and further build the league, they are inviting the same lunacy into MLS. Go ahead guys - we'll see how that plays out for you should your players decide to give the country the finger like the NFL. Too bad for you there are still better products selling the same thing - Bundesliga, EPL, La Liga, Serie-A.... so good luck with that fellas, I'll hold out hope that someone comes to their senses before this idiocy spreads. Wrong message, wrong forum - and ignorant reasoning. Think about it.

  5. T L replied, September 27, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    What a great point. Force your employees to be patriotic to something that is hipocritical in nature. Got it

  6. Rusty Welch replied, September 27, 2017 at 10:35 a.m.

    It's "hypocritical" for starters - but nobody is "forcing" anyone to be patriotic. Respectful, yes. And it's in the NFL's own game operations manual - players can be fined or suspended for not following it.
    If you think that the ideals laid out in our founding documents are hypocritical, I feel bad for you. Do you live up to every one of your ideals? Good job, Jesus #2. The flag is the symbol of those ideals, and our country. We strive to reach them - fall short, and continue to strive. You don't condemn what is still the "home of the brave, land of the free" in it's entirety because you experience problems - we're all human, and it's a process. It is wildly disrespectful and slightly ignorant to condemn the whole because we're not perfect in an imperfect world - and that does NOTHING to further the conversation in making things better, it just pisses people off.

  7. don Lamb replied, September 27, 2017 at 7:54 p.m.

    Either way, Rusty, you have no say over what the players can and cannot do. You can choose to consume the product or not, but that is where our power starts and stops. There is really no use in getting so emotional about it.

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, September 28, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.

    Rusty, you should actually read the rule before you start saying what it says. NFL rules only require players to be on the sideline. The rest of the rule is phrased as "should," not must.

  9. Rusty Welch replied, September 29, 2017 at 11:41 a.m.

    Bob - I did read it, and stated what it says. I never parsed the language, because it also provides that players can be fined or suspended for not following it. BTW, it's not a 'rule', as I stated, it's from the NFL's game operations manual:
    “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.

    During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, September 29, 2017 at 3:05 p.m.

    Rusty you again misrepresent what it says. Being on the sideline is mandatory and players may be fined for not being on the sideline. That is very different than saying that players can be fined for protesting while on the sideline. This is high school level reading complexity, not something complicated.

  11. R2 Dad, September 26, 2017 at 10:50 a.m.

    Teflon Don Garber, this is why you're paid the big bucks. Go fix this if you want to save your league.

  12. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 26, 2017 at 12:58 p.m.

    Go fix what?

  13. Paula Barrett, September 26, 2017 at 12:08 p.m.

    Thank you to the union for defending freedom of expression. Sports is a great unifier. Not satisfied with dividing the country, now Trump is trying to divide sports. A narcissist never forgets a slight and Trump was rejected by the NFL when he tried to buy the Buffalo Bills so my guess is that his grudge got the better of him. Too bad he doesn't put as much effort into dealing with the No. Korea crisis, the health care problem, the Puerto Rico disaster as he does into his inane tweeting.

  14. R2 Dad replied, September 26, 2017 at 12:22 p.m.

    Paula, you may be correct in many ways, but this "taking a knee" thing is NOT an issue of freedom of expression or freedom of speech. Players are employees and as such are responsible to their employers for what they say and do, on and off the field. Lots of money (not ours) is at stake.

  15. Rusty Welch replied, September 26, 2017 at 12:31 p.m.

    Paula, see R2Dad's comment, and my earlier comment as far as the 'freedom of expression' (maybe you meant freedom of speech?). Colin Kaepernick and the NFL players are the ones who began 'dividing' the country with their misguided anti-American flag/anthem protests. I and many others opted out of our fantasy leagues and said goodbye to the NFL prior to this season due to their actions, which have NOTHING to do with the President's unfortunate statements. A much better representation of the issue is here:
    http://netrightdaily.com/2017/09/stay-united-ny-jets-right-colin-kaepernick-wrong-national-anthem/

    Hopefully you can see beyond your blind hatred for our President, and realize the issue is really much bigger - and began before he was ever elected.

  16. T L replied, September 27, 2017 at 9:31 a.m.

    I would say that employers are scared they will turn away alot of fans for firing players for a peaceful protest. Maybe its a better idea employers use their own political powers to address what their employees are protesting which seems to be a big deal to many people.

  17. don Lamb replied, September 27, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.

    R2 - You are acting like they are your employees. The owners have shown that they are not going prevent the players from protesting. It is their business, and they can handle it however they want. You can consume the product or not, but, as you say, this is not your money at play and none of us have any direct influence here.

  18. Lawrence Kedger, September 26, 2017 at 12:38 p.m.

    Be very very careful MLS. NFL, NBA and to a certain extent the NHL can afford a drop in ratings and some fan disenfranchisement. MLS you are still second tier. This is not the hill you want to die on.

  19. T L replied, September 27, 2017 at 9:32 a.m.

    Mls if you lose the patriotic crowd target the immigrant based crowd. I gaurantee you they are more loyal and passionate fans.

  20. Nick Daverese, September 26, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.

    The rules are very clear in the NFL at games you can not do anything make personal statesmens that have nothing to do with the game. Now all of a sudden that's changed. I will never watch another American football game again. The game was a Uniter now it is a divider. They do the same with calcio it would be a mistake.

  21. Paula Barrett, September 26, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

    Rusty:

    My hatred is by no means blind. I go by the unspeakable, totally disrespectful things that come out of that man's mouth.

  22. Nick Daverese, September 26, 2017 at 6:51 p.m.

    Do you even know what hate is? It is a very easy word to say. i hate peppers I hate the way your hair looks that day. That is not real hate if it ever gets to the point of real hate that is a whole different ball game. I was unlucky enough to understand the real meaning of hate. I did something about it so I don't have to hate anymore. Charlie Chaplin said it best "only the unloved hate."

  23. ckg beautiful game, September 27, 2017 at 7:09 a.m.

    These cry babies don't like when a "Man" puts them in their place and neither does the poor losing left. They had it their way for 8 years and almost destroyed this country.

  24. T L, September 27, 2017 at 9:33 a.m.

    Jajaja. Trump is a man? You better let Ivanka know.

  25. Allan Lindh, September 27, 2017 at 1:21 p.m.

    No one seems to remember that before WWII, we usually didn't play the National Anthem before events. During WWI & WWII it was implemented to provide a moment to remember those fighting and dying around the world. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/us/nfl-national-anthem-trump-kaepernick-history-trnd/index.html
    Since WWII the tradition has continued, in part because of paid DOD support. The ersatz rah-rah patriotism of today is IMHO part of the state of Perpetual War that we entered during the cold war, and that was ratcheted up following 9/11. And it has little to do with respecting the country or the flag. It has to do with profit, see President Eisenhower's farewell address. And the full quote from Senator Carl Schurz in 1872,is "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Thus Colin Kaepernick kneeling was in the best American patriotic tradition, protesting the continuing institutionalized racism that remain a blot on this great country' honor.

  26. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 28, 2017 at 9:53 a.m.

    Isn't there a middle ground between "everyone who kneels is a horrible traitor" and "kneeling is a great form of protest against our terrible war-mongering country"? Wherever that middle ground is at, that's where I stand.

  27. Bob Ashpole, September 27, 2017 at 4:31 p.m.

    Far too many people mistakenly consider criticism of our Government's policies, actions or inaction as unpatriotic. Far too many people respond to speech that they don't like with insults rather than discourse. Like kids on a playground. The people have a right to speak for and against these things. Exercising your constitutional rights is not unpatriotic. let's be adults about this. I don't agree with a lot of what people and politicians say, but I believe in the people's right to speak. If you want to boycott professional sports to protest the protests, that is your right. Don't, however, expect me to join you.

  28. frank schoon, September 27, 2017 at 5:35 p.m.

    I don't know what the problem here is, but if you want to protest fine but do it on your own time and not on somebody's else's dime for the owners are losing a lot money and prestige of their product(s),cable cancellations and what not...This is highly unfair to the NFL to suffer the monetary losses and prestige not to mention the long term effects, for it didn't create this problem. What these players have done is against NFL rules and regulations and should be sued accordingly as well as the players union who supported these efforts. It is as simple as that. They have no business creating the political protests...

  29. don Lamb replied, September 27, 2017 at 7:45 p.m.

    They can run their business however they want. If they want to punish the players, they can. They have chosen not to. Your issue seems to be that the players are breaking the rules, but the owners and league officials obviously don't see it that way. And it's their call, not yours.

  30. Scott Johnson replied, September 28, 2017 at 8:29 p.m.

    I don't know about other cities, but in Seattle there is a large backlog of season-tickets. If any pissed-off right-wingers want to cancel theirs, someone will be happy to take the tix off their hands...

  31. Lewie Stevens from Floyd Central High School replied, September 29, 2017 at 10:11 a.m.

    What these players have done is taken a large platform to advocate for their cause. It wasn't a political effort as no candidates were endorsed. Those who take a knee are not America haters, those who stand are not racists. It was an act of protest against social injustice. President Trump made it a much more political issue by condemning the protesters at on of his campaign rallies. It played well to his base but actually galvanized the players. An effort that was already losing steam, now includes many of the president's own big $ donor/owners. I have little respect for his efforts as they are almost always geared toward his individual success with no regard to the outcome. His track on this is nothing if not consistent over the last 4 decades.

  32. Nick Daverese, September 27, 2017 at 8:46 p.m.

    We have all the power. Don't like the knee stop watching the games. It will cost the players and owners money. Very simple don't buy what they are selling.
    Hakeem Jefferies is my congressman he replaced the great Anthony Weiner who is going to jail. He was crying like a women in court when he was sentenced.

    They called me for an telephone town hall meeting. What a divider he was. I listen to the whole meeting 45 minutes of dividing people. Trump should not try to make a deal with any of them waste of time.

    If we are not careful we could easily have another civil war in this country. Because that is what they really want.

  33. don Lamb replied, September 27, 2017 at 9:06 p.m.

    Both sides have power, so it's basically a wash. The owners will make whatever decision they feel is best for their business, and the people will decide whether or not to consume their product.

  34. Nick Daverese, September 27, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.

    That's right espn, channel 7 and Disney are losing a lot of money. Now they want millions more from my provider cablevision by next month or they will take off the channels. I had cablevision since the early 1990s. I called them up I told them if I see these channels next month I know they made a deal and I will find another provider. They told me they got many requests like this.

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