Monday, October 13, 2008

Can Someone Do More Than Ban Him?

Know what's hysterical?

Racial epithets. Seriously. Try it. Walk up the next black person you see and call him the N-word. Or if that's a skosh much for you, maybe just call him a 'spearchucker' or 'jungle bunny.' Hilarity will ensue.

Ridiculous right? Well, that's what happened to DC United keeper Louis Crayton—not the hilarity, just the epithet—after the team's scoreless draw against the Dynamo in Houston last night (Sunday). Somehow Crayton, a native of Liberia, kept enough composure to respond to the offender in a rational manner instead of maybe dismembering him. Crayton recounts:

"It is so sad that he would say that to me," Crayton said. "I am saying hi to the fans and he walked up to me and told me, 'Hey, you're a monkey, go back to the jungle.' I told him, 'Hey, you can't say that to me. I am not a monkey, I am a human being like you.' I jumped over to ask him why he insulted me, and he kept going."

The person in question was escorted from the grounds by Robertson Stadium officials and banned from Dynamo games indefinitely. It's a pretty sorry event. And if there is any silver lining it's that it didn't escalate into anything violent.

As a fan of football—not to mention a human in general—this is disappointing to say the least. For all the positive aspects of the game we're trying to import from around the world, racism isn't on the list and shouldn't be tolerated. Assuming this is all accurate, anything the Dynamo or MLS can do beyond simply banning this person it totally cool with us.


hockalees said...

I blame all the "Who is Louis Crayton?" ads that the Dynamo were running all week leading up to the game.

Andrew said...

Dynamo-United fixture or McCain-Palin rally?

For real, I'm not surprised. Racism is just as much a part of American sports as it is in other countries. Has anyone ever attended a SEC football game?

Is mentioning the "other football" sacrilege?

Precious Roy said...

Not at all Andrew. I am as much a fan of college football as I am of footie. I've been to plenty of both in this country and if there was any spillover benefit to the fact that soccer in this country has been adopted by geeks and elitists (separate discussion) it's that those two groups tend to be more educated and, as a result, less racist. That's why this is somewhat alarming.

Although maybe it's the world's most perverse positive sign: Hey, soccer is getting so popular that even the racists are showing up.

Precious Roy said...

Also, as a Texan it pisses me off that it reinforces so many stereotypes about the South and Texas.

Andrew said...

@ PR: You make an interesting point with the "geeks and elitists" observation. My own myopic view is that soccer - meaning, youth club, not rec - in North/Central Florida is predominantly white and has been since I played 10 years ago. But recently, with the Hispanic population moving further, I've begun to notice racism creeping into the sport, mostly by parents and supporters. Soccer down here is considered a white/elite sport, much like tennis or golf, and like those two, certain assumptions are made about who can play and what their role is.

I'll end by slightly re-wording your last point: The racists have always been there; once Blacks and Hispanics showed up (en masse) the latent racism revealed itself.

Mike Georger said...

personally i think this kind of shit would stop if more players went the vernon maxwell / ron artest route. sure you get suspended, but its worth it.
i have a feeling they would if they made more money