Tuesday Lunch: Concerned Fan Follow Up–What Has Been Done and What Will Happen From Here

Posted: June 28, 2011 in professional sports, soccer, usmnt
Tags: , , , , ,

By Evan Ream and Russell Jordan

 

On Saturday, four other American Outlaws and us attended the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final between USA and Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. If you are reading this, you have probably already heard of the details of what happened, but if you haven’t here is a link to our original post. Please read this if you haven’t as there are many controversial issues brought up in it that we feel need to come to light in order to help soccer in America improve.

 

When we returned from the trip after seeing the injustices that occurred during the game and the obvious security issues, I encouraged Russell (the most outspoken member of our group) to say something that hopefully a few people would notice so that the issue could come to light. After voicing his displeasures on Twitter, Russell was asked by US Soccer to write a note to them explaining what happened. Russell’s now famous note started as a Facebook post, but we ended up posting it to our blog so that people who weren’t his friend on Facebook could have their say in the matter.

Fortunately, the message spread like a wildfire and was seen by many members of the soccer community who had similar experiences at the game and at past games. Unfortunately, there were also a lot of racist comments that occurred not only in the comment section of our article (check if you’d like) but around the internet. We want to foremost say that any racist comments are unacceptable and not what this original article is about. If you read the article carefully, you will see that it’s mostly about the lack of security in terms of both quality and quantity. The Rose Bowl staff was unprepared for the event of this magnitude. So whose fault was it? This is unclear but it looks like it’s some combination of both the Rose Bowl and CONCACAF NOT US Soccer.

 

What will happen now? Russell, the rest of American Outlaws Davis, and I are speaking out to try to make sure this never happens again. Since the original article was posted, at least five relevant articles have appeared on the internet. Some of them supported us and told of similar experiences at the game (http://www.dailysoccerfix.com/2011/6/28/2248243/crowd-trouble-at-the-u-s-mexico-final) (http://withleather.uproxx.com/2011/06/mexican-soccer-fans-are-boorish-animals-a-first-hand-account), some described completely different experiences, and some looked at the debate very objectively and presented their ideas (http://futbolintellect.com/2011/06/a-gripe.html) (http://www.thefreebeermovement.com/2011/06/on-rivalries-and-race.html).

 

Russell and I have been contacted by various members of the soccer community. Yesterday we were both interviewed by American Outlaws Des Moines President Tanya Keith, who is working on a story about this event. In addition, Russell had talks with both US Soccer and the Rose Bowl General Manager. US Soccer was very supportive as was the Rose Bowl General Manager. We are tentatively invited to a meeting with them to discuss our security concerns. Russell was also just interviewed on 1290 AM The Source located in Tucson, Arizona in order to spread the word.

 

So what can you do to help? Easy, on Twitter use #ProtectOurFans in order to voice your concerns. Also, if anyone has an account of what happened to them this weekend or at other games please email them to us at thesacklunchblog@gmail.com. If anyone has any pictures or video of incidents from this weekend please include those as well. We are working on compiling everything together to present to US Soccer and the Rose Bowl. Together, we can make changes to provide safer and more comfortable accommodations to fans at soccer games in this country.

 

For constant updates on this situation follow @RussaldoAO, @EvanReam, and @WRobinson91.

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Comments
  1. Ken says:

    Very reasonable and measured response. However, I’ll beg to differ on one point. The fans’ behavior is what started this. No over-the-top behavior, no issue. Lack of foresight on security issues? Of course. But what were those security issues? The behavior by the fans. Let’s not start soft-peddling this now. The majority of the fault will always lie with the fans.

  2. Tim says:

    There were only 26 arrests from a crowd of more than 93,000! I am a US fan that was at the game and I had a great time sitting in the General Admission section surrounded by very respectful Mexican fans. When the US was up 2-0, my buddies and I had fun teasing the pro Mexico crowd and as expected, we were teased by the Mexican fans when they won. It was all in good fun and nothing violent. I think this campaign to portray Mexico fans as so dangerous that US fans were demanding special entry into the stadium and feared getting raped is nonsense and a shame. I too was disapponted the US lost, but lets not make this racial.

    • We do not once bring up racial issues, we are merely trying to get out the message that security was not up to par and something needs to be done about it. I was at the game as well and got hit by a full bottle of bud light. This should never happen to a fan at any game anywhere in the world.

  3. USA4Life says:

    This to me just sounds like to groups antagonizing each other and then stuff started happening. Everyone else seems to have had a good time except for the elite USA supporters….

    Hrmmmm…….I wonder why

  4. Stuart Greene says:

    I posted this on the last article, and I’ll post it again:

    I find it humorous that an organization that at least subtly celebrates hooligan/terrace culture (hiding faces in bandanas, etc.), and has a provocative name like “American Outlaws” would moan about abuse from rival fans.

    • Its just a name. We do not promote violence in any way. Here is our code of conduct: http://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/about/ao-code-of-conduct-act-above

      • Stuart Greene says:

        Straight out of the dictionary:

        out·law/ˈoutˌlô/
        Noun: A person who has broken the law, esp. one who remains at large or is a fugitive.

        (Sounds like the Mexican fans understand what is to be an “outlaw” more than you guys.)

      • Just because its our name doesn’t mean its what we represent. Sam’s Army isn’t an Army by any means. It’s just a name, calm down.

      • Stuart Greene says:

        I am calm, mate.

        I figure the name doesn’t mean much, seeing as you don’t seem to know the difference between “its” and “it’s.” Sorry, just taking the piss.

        Listen, I LOVE that you gents are promoting and trying to help the beautiful game grow in popularity in the States, but I think the name is pretty dumb as there’s nothing “outlaw” about the group. Also, there’s already a long-established “Outlaws” biker gang (forget about the Mexicans fans, wait until you run into one of them when wearing an AO shirt).

        Cheers.

      • Stuart Greene says:

        American Outlaws Association – http://www.outlawsmc.com/

      • Looks like the grammar police have struck again! Luckily you knew the difference and correctly understood what I said (I was worried). I had not heard of this other group. I’m sorry if you think our name is stupid but you’re entitled to your opinion. I don’t think its (or maybe it’s?) dumb and I’m entitled to mine. Cheers to you as well.

  5. Stuart Greene says:

    Straight out of the dictionary:

    out·law/ˈoutˌlô/
    Noun: A person who has broken the law, esp. one who remains at large or is a fugitive.

    (Sounds like the Mexican fans understand what is to be an “outlaw” more than you guys.)

    • Stephen says:

      For all of your prodding, I feel like I shouldn’t go out of my way to respond, but…

      “… I think the name is pretty dumb as there’s nothing “outlaw” about the group. Also, there’s already a long-established “Outlaws” biker gang (forget about the Mexicans fans, wait until you run into one of them when wearing an AO shirt).”

      The American Outlaws name and bandanna-wearing is a tribute and direct reference to a group of five U.S. fans who sneaked into Cuba to watch a World Cup qualifier a few years back. They wore the bandannas over their face so that no one would recognize them and they wouldn’t be punished by the U.S. State Department.

      Here’s an article by Grant Wahl that summarizes how they got to Cuba and their unique situation: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/grant_wahl/posts/1299-the-cuba-cinco-have-arrived-in-havana

      So, yes, they were “outlaws,” but not in some way that meant breaking the law to maim or injure someone, or even being in some hard-ass biker gang with a website. They did it in a positive way, to support U.S. Soccer. A lot of fans were inspired, motivated by this… and thus, you have the “American Outlaws” who wear bandannas on their faces.

  6. Luis Crousillat says:

    The only way we will change this is by filling the stadium with USA Team supporters

  7. Luis Crousillat says:

    Intead of Thread on me we should promote HOME ADVANTAGE WITH ME(USA)

    • It takes time to build a supporters group, but we are working on it. We have already made great strides since American Outlaws started and we are gaining new fans every day. I personally have made fans out of 3 of my friends since 2009. If everyone did this we would triple in numbers.

  8. Tim says:

    Speaking of patriotism, what bothers me about our team is that most players dont sing the national anthem. Are they not proud to be American? Every single player in the Mexican team can be seen singing. I wish the US players woul follow suit just like us supporters.

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