…How you gonna come?
Apparently by standing by and doing nothing. This past weekend MLS and TeamOps, threatened Monty Rodrigues with ejection while he was on the Capo stand, in front of the Fort, for actions of others beyond his control. This obviously not the first time this has happened (see: Fortgate). The premise was if he did not stop swearing and stop the Fort from using unwelcome language he would be removed.
Monty had just taken the stand for the second half, he insisted to security that he was not using the language he was accused of using and asked how it would be possible for him to control the actions of others. Monty tells TDIF that the regular TeamOps staff actually came to his defense and that a supervisor and a mystery MLS security consultant were the ones who were approaching him. The regular TeamOps staff was rotated out. Monty was not ejected but left of his own free will out of frustration of another incident like this occurring.
We have contacted the team for comment and were told by Lizz Summers that Brian Bilello’s comments on twitter would serve as the official statement from the team. We asked Summers for identification of this mysterious MLS consultant and for a contact at MLS and were ignored. MLS has also not responded to our inquiry.
We are told that Cathal Conlon tried to intervene and diffuse the situation with the mystery MLS man and was unsuccessful, and that the Revs FO is furious at what occurred. Since Fortgate there have been protocols put in place to prevent these sorts of actions and they were not followed by the rogue MLS consultant. MLS and the team have offered official apologies to the SG’s were told but not to Monty. Monty does state that he has received unofficial apologies from MLS staff and Revs staff.
Generally it appears that the Revs FO has relatively clean hands on this one and tried to do the right thing. We do question however how a MLS security consultant had the authority to issue orders to TeamOps, and why TeamOps felt that they needed to listen to him without going up their own command structure. We know a “blue shirt” shirt supervisor was involved and took the side of the MLS official and switched out the rank and file regular “orange shirts” who came to the defense of Monty. The question must also be asked as to why they went after Monty shortly after taking the stand in the second half, while doing nothing in the first half to address these concerns.
The most troubling thing about this incident to me is that no one cared. This was a concern after Fortgate… what if it beats us down so much that we just don’t care about these things in the future?
Sure there are people out there who did care, who walked out, who asked questions and were furious, but it was a handful… less than 10 by my estimate.
This is a problem.
Everyone here aspires to have our support eventually be the like of support in Seattle… in Portland and hell even Kansas City of all places. You know what all those places have that we don’t? Unity.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have work to do myself on that front, but unity is built on respect and respect is a 2 (or 3 in the case of Rev’s SGs) way street.
It is my humble opinion that being a supporter is about supporting the team, but just as importantly your group and the members of your group. A fan of the team is a fan of the team… and that’s all, by choosing to be a supporter your are joining something bigger than yourself and a culture that no other sport has.
Supporters need to and should stand for each other, we are all in this together for the support of the team, the sport and a unique subculture of sports fandom that is still very much in it’s formative years here in the US.
People ignored or didn’t care about Monty. This is the man who made the Fort possible, who has made it possible for there to be a supporters culture in New England. Monty walked out in support of all of you, and of what we do as supporters. It was not a decision that was made lightly. No one (well almost no one) backed him. The red flag was ignored, and the Fort as a whole waved a white flag.
No one is going to stand up for you, your group, the Fort etc if you do not do it yourself. If you are attacked you need to make a stand and let people know you are not going to take it. Acting like nothing happened or just waiting it out until it goes away gives others permission to do it again… and get away with it.
I am not saying that another fiasco like Fortgate should have occured, but maybe a few more people should have walked out, or did something to show some support and say something is happening, it’s wrong and we don’t like it. It’s too late now, those who want to sweep it under the rug are already doing so.
If you were watching a friend get attacked, would you step in? Would you call 911? You wouldn’t stand there and do nothing would you?
Until we actually start taking care of each other and giving a damn we will never be what we aspire to be. The path we are on now is one to irrelevance in the US supporters culture. There are NASL teams that do it better than us. Give a damn or stop calling yourself a supporter.