Gordon facing suspension after being caught using gay slur

AlanGordonGlare (ISIPhotos.com)


Alan Gordon knew it almost immediately after he said it. You could see the look on his face as he came to the realization that he had joined an unfortunate list of MLS players to cross the line and use a gay slur during a match.

With national TV cameras trained on him, Gordon aimed a gay slur at Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson. When Johnson raised three fingers and let Gordon know he probably just cost himself a three-game suspension, Gordon grimaced in acknowledgement of the mistake he just made.

Gordon went on to be issued a red card later in the match after an errant elbow left Mikael Silvestre bloodied, but it was Gordon’s slur, not the red card, that drew the headlines after the match.

Gordon responded after the match by issuing an apology about his poor choice of words:

“I sincerely apologize for what I said in our game tonight. Although I said it in the heat of the moment, that language has no place in our game. That is not my character, but there is still no excuse for saying what I said. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”


The apology isn’t likely to keep Gordon from being hit with a suspension, which is how MLS responded when Colin Clark and Mark Burch both were punished last year after saying the same gay slur (coincidentally enough, Burch was suspended after also aiming the same slur at Will Johnson). The question now is whether MLS will take a step to increase the length of suspension in an effort to send a stronger message that such language, and behavior is unacceptable.

As it stands, if Gordon does get slapped with a three-game ban for the gay slur, that coupled with his red card suspension could sideline him for a month. That’s a long time for him to think about how he crossed the line.

What do you think of the incident? Feel MLS should increase the suspension, or is three games a fitting punishment?

Share your thoughts below.


This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes. Bookmark the permalink.

326 Responses to Gordon facing suspension after being caught using gay slur

  1. Chupacabra says:

    Alan Gordon should retire from soccer and pursue his true calling as a stunt double for Ashton Kutcher, particularly scenes that involve a swift kick to family jewels.

    • APK says:

      Are suspensions really going to get to the heart of the matter or deter the offensive language? It’d probably be worthwhile for the league – or any other governing institution in a a similar situation, for that matter – to sit down publicly with the culprit and victim and simply discuss the matter. This may breath some fresh air into the underlying homophobic slurs that permeate American culture.

      • RB says:

        Trying to imagine the same advice being applied re racist remarks or, say, diving (“simulation”)…

        In the end, it’s a sports league, and suspension from play is always going to be at least among the principal tools at hand (if not _the_ principal one) for attempting to deter undesirable behavior.

      • RB says:

        Trying to imagine the same advice being applied re remarks about race or, say, diving (simulation)…

        In the end, it’s a sports league, and suspension from play is always going to be at least among the principal methods at hand (if not _the_ principal one) for attempting to deter undesirable behavior.

        • APK says:

          I certainly agree: there are rules of conduct; a suspension must be handed down. But, I think you may misunderstand what I am saying: MLS (and other American pro leagues) can’t have their cake and eat it (or at least I don’t think they can). A league cannot say it offers a “family-oriented” event or service and then not offer a forum through which to discuss the reoccurring moral dilemma. If “the” institution is going to take part in morality, it must follow through for its moral obligation to have weight – beyond mere punishment. Otherwise, the institution’s ability to respond to matters like these amounts merely to propaganda and grandstanding.

          (Incidentally, I misspelt “breathe” as “breath” in my previous reply. – Cheers)

          • RB says:

            Thanks. Yes your comment seemed to me to suggest talk instead of suspension. I have no problem with talk — think it’s a good idea, in fact — but I think the suspension is certainly necessary in keeping with the general approach of the sport to any sort of out-of-line behavior.

  2. Matt says:

    Last year it was brought the forefront, yet it still happened. It seems the point has not been proven yet. Increase the suspension, to 4 this year, and 5 the next

    • AzTeXan says:

      3 is plenty, probably too much. I’d be fine with 2 games.

      • Adam says:

        No. The only way you make this point is by making it absolutely unthinkable. Shame a player in front of his teammates, his coach, and his fans.

        Players get two games for a mistimed tackle. Using unacceptable slurs like that need to be penalized more harshly.

        • Hogatroge says:

          What a ridiculous statement. Yes, it’s reprehensible language that should be discouraged, but it has no impact on the game. A 3 game suspension is already ridiculous.

          Get off your moral high horse and realize that obscenely long suspensions is not going to reduce the use of insulting language in soccer, or any sport, ever.

          • Hogatroge says:

            *issuing obscenely long suspensions is not…

          • Edwin in LA says:

            I highly disagree…..and if it didn’t work then you look to make the penalty even higher as far as the $$$ amount. You seem to think it’s wrong to do but worth much of a punishment…..It’s one thing to talk trash but to start using discriminatory or racial/hateful slurs..you think that would fly in a company other than say in this case an MLS team? Forget that, he needs to learn a lesson I say 4 games since he didn’t have enough control after guys got suspended for 3 last year….we’ll see if him or anyone else does it again

          • solles says:

            its not just obscenity, it’s bigotry, and the suspension cannot be too long for that.

        • Matt Ryan says:

          You have the correct take, Adam. Well said.

          To everyone who doesn’t think it’s that big of an offense to use hate speech, just leave the conversation to the adults.

        • Oranje Mike says:

          Mistimed tackles can end a career. Harsh words can hurt feelings. Apples and oranges.

      • PD says:

        how benevolent of you.

    • R.Feldmann says:

      Right on! That is exactly what should be done!

    • Devin Brown says:

      3 games is adequate. It’s an expensive mistake and none of these guys will make that mistake again.

      • Eurosnob says:

        So Gordon will get 3 games suspension for saying a slur, but only one game suspension for almost breaking one players leg and drawing blood from another player after he threw an elbow? I am not taking sides in the debate as to whether saying a slur should merit a 3 day suspension, but it seems that the league is more focused on policing the players’ speech than on protecting players from thugish play that could potentially end their career.

        • Matt B. says:


        • RB says:

          No one likes thuggish play, but the entire proposition of football is of course one of physical endeavor at the highest level and pushing that to the extreme. So it’s part and parcel of the whole enterprise that players will go too far sometimes in that.

          Racism, bigotry, homophobia, etc are by stark contrast no necessary or natural part of the sport at all.

          • Eurosnob says:

            “The entire proposition of football is of course one of physical endeavor at the highest level and pushing that to the extreme.” Unless you are talking about american football, your statement is false. Xavi, Inesta, Pedro, Navas, Mata, Silva and Alba won the WC 2010 or Euro 2012 or both. They are all 5.7 and they did not win because they mugged and physically intimidated their opponents. There is nothing natural or necessary about trying to knock out somebody’s teeth or break somebody’s leg. If you are justifying these acts as natural and necessary, then one could argue that offensive speech is also part of gamesmanship and, therefore, a natural and necessary part of sport (e.g. Materazzi’s comments about Zidane’s sister provoked the Frenchman to a headbut and led to his ejection and Italy’s WC win).

            • RB says:

              Sorry, but nope and nope. (shrug)

              It’s a contact sport. It’s physical. It’s being played at the professional level. One can naturally expect these factors to combine such that some players will sometimes go over the line. Indeed, the game has already allowed for that by the inclusion of the yellow/red card system, and authorities of the sport have similarly extended that with things like suspensions. If you don’t think this makes sense, you may want to switch to something either non-competivie or non-physical.

              And on the other hand, the use of spoken slurs is clearly not any such natural or requisite part of the sport, any more than, say, urinating on the field to offend someone is a natural part of the sport or something to be expected.

              It’s really rather simple…

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          If it’s truly thuggish there have been much longer suspensions handed out…..Mullan, Clark. But this is not touch football and some degree of ooomph in the tackle is part of the game. I don’t want this to turn into my coed league, no slide tackles, etc.

          Also, part of the issue is creating a certain sort of environment for the fans, who will probably put up with tackling but might vote with their feet if racism or whatnot was tolerated. Players can still say BLANK you to the ref, but if you start tolerating gay slurs maybe you lose that audience. Tackling is a manageable issue but part of the game. But the message has come down from on high to wipe this out…..look at what they’ve done in Europe for racist chants.

    • APK says:

      Are suspensions really going to get to the heart of the matter or deter the offensive language? It’d probably be worthwhile for the league – or any other governing institution in a a similar situation, for that matter – to sit down publicly with the culprit and victim and simply discuss the matter. This may breath some fresh air into the underlying homophobic slurs that permeate American culture.

      • RB says:

        My daughter once suggested that instead of using yellow and red cards, they should just stop the game momentarily “so the guy can say he’s sorry”…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It’s going to be 4-6 because it’ll be a mix of the red card suspension for an elbow (even if it was a second yellow) plus the slur.

  3. Gnarls says:

    Using a gay slur “in the heat of the moment” actually reveals quite a lot about one’s character. Gordon isn’t a junior high kid. He’s a GAM who should know better. When a word like the flies out of your mouth in anger, it means it’s lingering just below the surface.

    • AzTeXan says:

      Calm down bro. Gay slurs are basically colloquialisms in American culture. You say it because it’s a common insult, not because you are saying a person is gay. Every person who says “rooster sucker” is a homophob.

      • dfs says:

        That doesn’t make it OK.

        I had a good friend in college who called things he didn’t like gay all the time. He said it wasn’t an issue because he wasn’t homophobic, it just meant something different. He was also from the south and he always complained that northerners were always looking down on southerners because some of them were poor an uneducated. So I started calling everything stupid ‘southern’ because you see I wasn’t really saying the guy from south. Southerner is just slang for a moron.

        In what world do you live where you can take a label for a group of people, turn it into a negative insult and then say you’re not being biased against that group. You’re just using a name that everyone associates with them as an insult.

      • Gnarls says:

        I think you’re projecting your experience in your own corner of America onto the rest of the country. I haven’t heard an adult use “gay” as a negative in years. Even if it were a common insult, that doesn’t make it okay.

        • AzTeXan says:

          I went to a HS in Austin where there were lots of openly gay students and a few openly gay teachers who were not mistreated in any way and at the same time people would call other people gay slurs when at practice or in class. It just takes a while for certain phrases to exit the language. I’m going to hold off on turning Allan Gordon into Hester Prynne.

          • Gnarls says:

            Yes, we all heard the word thrown around in high school. For some of us SBI reader, that was a while ago. 😉 At any rate, let’s leave it there and not carry the bad habit into adulthood.

      • Travis in Miami says:

        the fact that these types of slurs are a part of American colloquialisms is exactly why people in the spotlight who use them should be dealt with in a relatively harsh manner. this is the best way for people to be made aware that these terms are unacceptable and will help remove them from our cultural vocabularies – even in the heat of the moment.

        Gordon’s response makes me believe it won’t happen with him ever again.

        I can relate to AzTeXan’s point though. As a 13 year old I once yelled a gay slur out the window of a car being driven by my gay uncle at one of my friends. I was just messing around and meant nothing by it at all. But immediately i realized what I had done and was mortified by the disrespect I had just given one of my favorite people in the world. From that point on I have never used any term like that in jest or as a common put down.

        • Gnarls says:

          Thank you for putting a human face on the issue. Just a hunch: Most people defending the slur as “just a colloquialism” don’t have (or don’t know they have) gay friends or relatives. That’s what it comes down to. It’s human decency for our fellow man and woman.

      • Tom says:

        Actually, bro, we shouldn’t calm down, condone, or ignore bigotry.
        You’re saying it’s OK to demean someone by associating them with gay people. The whole premise of the insult is suggesting gay people are below us…that’s you’re less of a person if you’re gay. Crap like that might be common among your friends, bro, but it’s not common in any sort of respectful or professional setting (and Gordon is a PROFESSIONAL athlete, paid to bring folks to the game, not turn them away). So please, bro, step into the 21st century and stop justifying bigotry by saying “but, bro, that’s our culture to say that”. We can change our culture.

      • Jimmy Bobo says:

        As a matter of fact, when I was in high school and college we used these gay slurs against one another, all the time. This was especially true in the athletic settings of the pitch or locker room. We knew full well that the person we were insulting wasn’t gay but it was the most vile thing we could think to call one another. In many places, it still goes on. I was recently south of the border at a futbol match. After a rash tackle I heard one guy call the other a “mariconcito” (a little maricon). No uproar, no suspension, no fine.

        • Helium-3 says:

          Sticks and stones …

          Where do we draw the line now? Didn’t Lee Nguyen get traded because of the slur? Is Gordon going to be traded now?

          What about the NBA and all the trash talking, I don’t see people throwing getting into fits over this.

          • Matt Ryan says:

            Wrong. Kobe Bryant got fined $100,000 for exactly the same slur.

            Your error lies in that you think Gordan is going to be suspended for insulting Will Johnson. That’s not the issue. It’s that he used a foul slur which insults all gay people and all of the rest of us who wish to live in a world without bigots. If he had called Johnson some other foul-mouthed insult, no one would be discussing this today.

            • RAMONE says:

              ” If he had called Johnson some other foul-mouthed insult, no one would be discussing this today.”

              Agree and disagree. If he’d just called him a _ing @hole, punk, dhead, etc. nobody would care (i.e. an insult you can throw at anyone in the world no matter their gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.). Had he broken out the N word or other race based slur, used a religious slur, etc. i.e., trying to group him into something whether he is a member or not and insinuating in the process that there is something sub-human about it (i.e. bigotry), then he’d be in just as much trouble.

              It was well said above, but in jock culture calling a known heterosexual gay or “bundle of sticks” is meant to demean and AG knows this – we all know this. When I was in HS the football coaches loved to call soccer players “grass fairies” and “f@gboys” and heartily encouraged his players to join in the taunting as we ran laps while they stood around at practice. Funny part is that I can’t think of a single one of us who turned out to be gay (absolutely limited contacts after HS but still in touch with a few and when we have a beer I have never heard about “so and so and his partner”, though I am sure that at least a couple statistically were/are) … yet I can think of 2-3 of his football players who were but this concept was beyond his capacity to consider. He actually got fired a couple years later for repeatedly insulting women, students, etc. The man was a piece of work – almost a Hollywood caricature (many of us hypothesized the he was actually gay and trying to “play a part” to protect his image).

            • bearusky says:

              Matt I agree with you in the sense hat we need to live in a world without bigots, yet at the same time Will we need to have some men whether gay or not grow a pair. I’ve always said live and let live.

      • XPK says:

        Had Gordon accidentally leveled that colloquialism at Robbie Rodgers, would it still be “a common insult”?

        Plenty of other slurs used to be “basically colloquialisms in American culture”. Why aren’t those acceptable now? For the same reason this one isn’t acceptable today and is receiving a suspension from the league.

      • PD says:

        your ignorance is breathtaking.

      • solles says:

        hmm seem to remember the “N” word being considered a “colloquialism” at some stage in our history. If only people in those times would have just “calmed down bro”…???

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Let’s say Robbie Rogers wants to come back. You want him out of retirement — or players like him — this cannot happen. I don’t know which way Wil Johnson goes but it’s interesting this is event #2 directed at him. This is not just abstract language, or quiet smack talk(and in England they would run Terry before a tribunal for allegedly saying something quietly), he was yelling this loud enough for it to be heard by ticket buyers and over mics, at someone.

  4. Jose says:

    lol what a joke. he said a mean word suspend him forever.

    • ChiTown says:

      People like you owned slaves.

      • AzTeXan says:

        Such a ridiculous leap in logic.

      • Kevin_Amold says:


        • ChiTown says:

          Not at all.

          That is the exact mentality that allows oppression and discrimination. Ignorance.

          • Kevin_Amold says:

            Again, ridiculous.

          • Nats says:

            “Opression and discrimination!” Says the doofus who likes to control other people’s speech.

          • Swanny says:

            Yeah it’s not okay, but oppression? Give me a break.

            • ChiTown says:

              Yes, oppression.

              You think it isn’t rampant here? How about that man in the South who had power of attorney to make decisions for his husband, but was arrested for refusing to leave his husbands room.

              Or the hundreds of gay people who are executed every year for simply being gay.

              Gay people were specifically targeted during the Holocaust and prominent members of US political parties still refer to gay people as filthy and wrong.

              You have no idea what a gay person goes through if you don’t think they’re very oppressed.

              • Nats says:

                Hey ChiTown, why do you feel a compulsion to decide what words other people choose to use?

              • zkes says:

                hey man we Mexicans and Blacks are more persecuted. Not to mention us poor people.

                sorry just playing devil’s advocate

              • Kevin_Amold says:

                No one in the US is executed for being gay. Using a word like Gordon used is not even tantamount to execution, yes?

                The US soccer community is probably close to the forefront (at least in my experience) on this issue. Remember when Robbie Rogers came out? Most of us respected it and wished him the happiness and good luck. Many of us wanted him to keep playing, mostly to show that, for us, there’s no need to never play again just because you’re gay. We are a pretty tolerant community.

              • ChiTown says:


                Really? They aren’t?

                There are a lot of dead gay people in the US–targeted because of their orientation–that would love to not be dead.

                Like that Mississippi mayor last month. Or the guy that was dragged behind a car for being gay.

                The list is very, very long.

                Even then, most discrimination is done in economic and social forums. Gay people aren’t even afforded the most basic of rights when it comes to relational aspects.

              • Kevin_Amold says:

                I thought you were referring to places where execution of gays is sanctioned by law. There are murders of all kinds in our country and they are awful. If you count “execution” as a murder, then you are correct, there are gay people “executed” in our country.

              • ChiTown says:

                Okay, I see where our confusion came through. Yeah, I was speaking from a mindset not the meaning of government sanction.

                My bad.

              • Usa1 says:

                So I’ve basically come to the conclusion that individuals tending to use the terms “ignorance”, and for that matter “class”/ “classy” (as insults/compliments respectively), tend to have an abundance of the former and a dearth of the latter.
                I’m from Chicago and I actually agree with chi town that gay slurs are bad, but I’m not sure everyone who tries to have a conversation is “ignorant”. Lets have a conversation chi town. You agree that’s the “classy” move? (I KNOW you use that term liberally)

      • byrdman says:

        Ridiculous. By all means let’s over react about every thing now. This is the problem. The pendulum affect. In days gone by we made a mistake, so in the minds of many we need to go to the polar opposite side of the issue to be correct, thus the pendulum. Balance is the key. Use your brain. Don’t let the masses think for you.

      • Usa1 says:

        They were also President. What’s your point?

  5. Jose says:

    He should be banned for life from soccer, and be made to work in a grocery store as a bagger. No cars for him, just ride a bicycle. He should never be allowed to go to a movie theater on opening weekend of a movie.

    • AzTeXan says:

      I’d be okay with the three game ban if every player got three games for insulting another player no matter what words were used. If Allen called him a short basterd, should he get three games for being prejudiced against short people and kids without married parents? Either all insults should be punishable or none of them should be punishable. Any other system is just arbitrary BS.

      • Stephen says:


      • Kosh says:

        Now you’re making a rediculous leap in association. Context is everything so associating one insult to another hardly makes any sense. We live in a society where being short and being gay more often than not result in two completely different types of consequences.

        I am on the side that this kind of behavior should be punished. I cannot say for sure what the right amount of games and/or money should be involved. However, trivializing these kind of unfortunate incidents do none of us any good.

        • Usa1 says:

          What if he called him “slow” for being Canadian? That’s also a stereotype based on background, and to a certain degree, genetics.

      • Helium-3 says:

        Yep + 1. Nobody cares what people say during games because you should be focused on playing the game anyways. If these people trash talk, etc.., its to get the other person to lose focus, react erratically, and get carded.

        If MLS is going to punish people for trash talking, then they need to do it and make it clear as black and white, and not gray like which words are acceptable or not. Otherwise, it’s just BS political correctness.

      • Arkie says:

        Slurs are just a bit different than insults. (Most?) Everyone agrees with that. I think it’s good that it is at least treated with a similar level of gravity as a racial slur as far as punishment is concerned, unfortunately it’s indicative of society that the outrage is much more minimal when it is a homophobic slur. We should insult and hate people for who they are, not based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, etc. Right?

  6. TFC OZZ - Disgruntled TFC Fan says:

    Give me a break. He’ll get a ban, but he doesn’t deserve one.

    • ChiTown says:

      He deserves one.

      • AzTeXan says:

        ChiTown you are a stupid mother f’er. And I say that with all due respect to people who have sex with people’s mothers.

        All insults don’t have to be taken literally.

        • ChiTown says:

          An insult isn’t supposed to be taken literally? You mean he wasn’t trying to insult him by calling him gay, thereby saying that being gay is offensive?

          Call Oxford, the English language no longer has meaning!

          • AzTeXan says:

            I guess my main point is that an insult is an insult. Either punish all insults or punish none of them. The intramural league I play in gives red cards for all swearing and insults directed at other players because singling out certain insults while allowing others is completely arbitrary. Please take your PC whining elsewhere.

            • ChiTown says:

              No, it isn’t arbitrary at all.

              A racial or bigoted slur is not the same thing as swearing. Swearing is a cultural mannerism for relieving stress or anger through a word.

              Slurring is very specific attack on someone for much deeper, more disturbing reasons.

              To say a swear word is the same as a bigoted slur says a lot about you.

              • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

                Dear ChiTown,

                Please stop posting.


                All of SBI

              • Ed says:

                “Slurring is very specific attack on someone for much deeper, more disturbing reasons.

                To say a swear word is the same as a bigoted slur says a lot about you.”

                This is a stretch. It was a boneheaded thing for Gordon to do, but you don’t actually think he harbors some deep homophobia do you? That’s just absurd.

              • Shane says:

                ChiTown, what should the punishment be if Gordan is gay? Does it count then? Should we ban a black player if he calls another black player the “n” word?

            • Fat B. says:

              Do you honestly believe this logic? That’s like saying any type of physical violence should result in the same penalty, because, well, physical violence is physical violence and it all should be punished the same.

              I trust you know this, but In life, we have what are called varying degrees. This is here situation is an example. Calling someone a jerk is so NOT even remotely the same as what Gordon said.

            • solles says:

              no— if I call you gay, that’s offensive and wrong and I deserve scorn. If I call you a “numpty”, well that’s just the truth.

        • ConradB says:

          ChiTown is right. Gordon used a word that society has deemed not acceptable to use under ANY circumstances, because it is an insult to an entire group of people. Racial slurs also fall in this category. Would you have the same reaction if he had used a racial slur?

          • rob says:

            I was trying to find a way to say that exact same sentiment. I couldn’t agree more. Words have connotations that run deeper than whatever intention the speaker may have had. Failure to understand this is ignorance.

            That is the disconnect in this conversation.

            • AzTeXan says:

              If I say you are stupid do I need to apologize to stupid people or not? Are stupid people not as important as LGBT people? Are you saying LGBT people are inherently better than stupid people? That sound pretty prejudiced to me.

              • ChiTown says:

                You have got to f***** kidding me with this response.

                “Stupid” isn’t a class of people, and it’s certainly not something you have no control over.

              • 2 says:

                Got a point there man

              • danny says:

                Stupidity is not something you are born with, like sexual orientation or the color of your skin.

                Your argument has no merit. It’d be best to stop now.

              • ConradB says:

                Have stupid people been systemically oppressed for years in our society? Have stupid people had to hide their stupidity for fear of being disowned, ridiculed, or even assaulted?

                I repeat my previous question. Would you be arguing for no suspension if Gordon had used a racial slur?

              • AzTeXan says:

                Substitute the word “fat” for “stupid” and all of a sudden the holes you pointed out have been closed. Try again.

              • danny says:

                In fact, stupidity is like Type 2 Diabeties.

                You inherit it through poor decision making and lack of good judgement. While those people maybe shouldn’t be judged or insulted, I wouldn’t be as quick to defend someone who has no want to move up in life or chooses oil and high fructose corn syrup over regular exercise and fruits and vegetables.

                Everyone has a choice.

                I hate the fact that my tax dollars are paying for some overweight man to receive a double-bypass heart surgery because he has made bad decision after bad decision. But that is an entirely different conversation. I’m done.

              • David says:

                I don’t think anyone’s saying that you should go around insulting fat people, but then, there aren’t laws in this country stopping fat people from marrying each other, plus the examples that Chitown cited. That’s the difference.

              • Jeff says:

                Intelligence is very much an inherited condition. And there are many people who are born with low intelligence/”stupid”. There are people who can spend their entire life in schools and they still will never be smart. It is out of their control.

              • Kenny_B says:

                Actually stupidity and weight both have negative economic consequences.

              • solles says:

                you seriously don’t see the difference between calling someone “stupid” and using a homophobic slur?


          • Nats says:

            Hey Conrad. If “society” deemed that it was not acceptable to use the word “stupid,” would you support that kind of speech control as well?

            • ConradB says:

              I’m going to quote part of my own post from a few lines up.

              In this imaginary society, have stupid people been systemically oppressed for years? Have stupid people had to hide their stupidity for fear of being disowned, ridiculed, or even assaulted?

              If so, then yes, I would support the word “stupid” as being unacceptable. If not, then no, I wouldn’t.

              And I wouldn’t use the term “speech control,” with regards to any of this. This isn’t a freedom of speech issue. Of course it shouldn’t be illegal to say any of these things, and I’m definitely not saying it should. It’s about representing the MLS. Alan Gordon is an employee of the MLS. The MLS says that they don’t want people representing their brand to use slurs regarding sexuality, race, etc…, and they will punish their employees who do use such words.

              If I said what he said at my job, I would be fired on the spot, and correctly so.

              • Nats says:

                Whether or not the word “stupid” is unacceptable isn’t the issue – it’s assumed in the thought experiment. You didn’t get it at all.

              • ConradB says:

                If our current society exactly as it is decides tomorrow that “stupid” is no longer an acceptable word, I would be against it.

                That would be stupid :)

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      So it’s complete free speech, you can say racist, etc. things and everything goes? That’s not even how America operates, particularly corporate America.

      There is already precedent on this which is why the player held up 3 fingers and he might as well have face palmed. To then act like this is sooo unfair is ignoring the history.

  7. Old School says:

    This is a cultural issue, not an Alan Gordon issue.

    This and other inflammatory slurs are said more than reported on the; field, pitch or court. Just so happens this one was caught on TV/audio.

  8. Grunt says:

    Whatever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones” and all that stuff? Yes, it’s absolutely wrong to try to offend someone in this way, but the people who say such things are the ones who end up looking bad for it. Aren’t we all better off knowing who the haters are?

  9. TomG says:

    He played a dumb game all night in many different aspects. What a tool.

    • R.Feldmann says:

      The whole team tries the roughhouse elbows and every cheap shot you can think of when playing! That comes from there coach! The score should have been 3-0! Terrible ref & linesman last nite! Two blatant take down’s in the 18 yd. box and no call’s! Terrible!

    • ChiTown2 says:

      Careful with the word “Tool”…you may offend someone or maybe a hammer.

  10. Scott says:

    What’s he 12 years old? I’m very happy MLS steps up and deals out punishment for this sort of thing.

  11. ChiTown says:

    There are people on here defending his use of the language. Simply, utterly amazing.

    And yes, it is taken literally. The entire point of the insult is to call someone something you think will offend them and hurt them, which is basically saying you think being gay is offensive.

    Where do you think the insult came from in the first place?

    • Nats says:

      There are people here defending his right to speak his mind regardless of whether or not you or anyone else finds it “offensive.”

    • AzTeXan says:

      I’m not defending calling people gay slurs. All I’m saying is that insulting someone for any reason is equally wrong. If you call someone fat, ugly, bald, short, stupid or whatever, you are no better than what Alan Gordon did.

      • danny says:

        Well, looks like you finally came along to a point. Touche.

        • AzTeXan says:

          Thanks for pointing out my fallacy in the previous post. I should have substituted the word “stupid” for “ugly” since people are born ugly. I’m officially calling for a three match ban for all players who call other players ugly. As a hideously ugly person it makes me feel bad when people get called ugly.

      • ChiTown says:


        Being called bald or fat or short is the same as calling someone a “f*****.”

        Wow. You haven’t a clue.

        • Nats says:

          That’s no argument, ChiTown, it’s just a personal attack. That’s what you resort to when you’ve been beaten.

        • Shane says:

          No you dont have a clue. Ever seen those anorexic girls that look like death walking because they think their fat? Will a player get a ban for calling someone a “ba$1ard”? It’s not okay to criticizes single mom’s and the children of single mom’s in our society either so let’s give suspension for using that word too.

        • AzTeXan says:

          Why isn’t it the same. If you’re going to disagree at least show me why I’m wrong like danny.

          • Lucas says:

            Only those living under a rock aren’t aware of how sensitive a subject being gay in America is right now. We should be applauding MLS for taking a cultured stand against bigotry, not arguing and nitpicking.

            • AzTeXan says:

              I suppose it’s hard for me to know when I lived in a place where people are openly gay and nobody cares one way or the other. It’s not even really an issue.

              • TomG says:

                It’s pretty simple, actually. Hate speech has been used for just about as long as history has been recorded to marginalize and objectify people of specific ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, disability, etc. If enough people to use the word casually in a negative manner, to the point where it becomes acceptable then, to a large segment of the population, anyone from that group becomes stained with negativity and becomes a simple object, a label, a characterization, not a human being. Once they are not human anymore, you can strip away their rights and do any number of horrifying acts to them without a second thought. That’s why hate speech is so insidious. I’m reading a book on the slavery debate in the 1800s and it’s disgusting how most congressmen and senators of our country referred to African-Americans as subhuman and therefore not entitled to human rights under the constitution.

          • solles says:

            homophibic slurs are examples of bigotry and hate speech. calling someone “fat” is just rude. seriously im having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that you don’t understand that.

      • XPK says:

        You are wrong. There were not, historically, laws making “fat, ugly, bald, short, stupid or whatever” illegal in every state in the nation. There were laws against sodomy that specifically targeted gay people. There are not judeo-christian or islamic religious traditions that call for “fat, ugly, bald, short, stupid or whatever” people to be killed or tortured forever after they die simply for existing. Those are teachings of several religions about gay people. Those same religious traditions are not actively blocking “fat, ugly, bald, short, stupid or whatever” people from having the same legal rights as straight people. These things are happening to gay people.
        So shut up about how it’s just an insult or colloquialism or word. It isn’t. It wasn’t. This is what people are trying to tell you from the perspective of the GLBTQ community. I don’t understand why you don’t understand this.

        • Gnarls says:


          Was going to post basically the same thing. It’s about history and cultural climate.

          • AzTeXan says:

            I support LGBT rights. I do not support turning every MLS player who has a small slip of the tongue into Hester Prynne. I’d give him 1-2 games for the 1st offense and then 3-4 for the 2nd offense and so on.

            LGBT rights are coming eventually. Be patient.

            • TomG says:

              They are coming because LGBT people and others are standing up for their rights and demanding an end to hate speech and other forms of abuse.

    • byrdman says:

      I can’t speak for others on the site, but I am not defending the use of the word or the attack on any group of people. I AM objecting to the inconsistency of what is deemed offensive. And in reality who determines what is offensive. I personally find the use of the name Jesus Christ in anger extremely offensive. But since i or people who share my beliefs don’t have control or influence over mass media, it is not considered inappropriate, in our culture, to speak in this manner. The inconsistency is my issue.

      Thanks for the discussion.

      • QuakerOtis says:

        It’s not an “inconsistency”. We treat some words different, because while many words insult or offend, some words signify or enable the mistreatement of a class of people deemed and treated as secondary. Repeated use of these words, like those used against the LGBT community (or those used against the African American community, as another example), carry a bigger social and political consequence than the average insult. While you may be offended by some people “using the Lord’s name in vain”, especially in anger, this is not a slur against Christians… maybe against Jesus, but that whole “Son of God” thing leaves him pretty much able to defend his social-political status, don’t ya think?

        It’s actually a good example that you bring up, though. I may be uninformed, but while Christians are not always treated with respect, I have never heard of one killing themself becuase of their status as a Christian. In fact, when people are ridiculed for their religion, the religion (and the community) provides some basis for withstanding and overcomming the ridicule. Being gay is quite different from this, and that should be clear enough as to require no explination. Being gay today, certainly in the past few hundred years, is more like being an early Christian: forced to live in secrecy until you are fed to the lions.

      • TomG says:

        It’s a good point. There are some prickly differences, though, imo. Most people using those words are probably Christians, themselves, so they’re not using the words to slur Christians similar to African-Americans use of the N word amongst themselves. When Alan Gordon calls Johnson a gay slur because he’s acting weak, however, that slurs all homosexuals, implying that gay people are weak and cowardly which is crazy because many gays fight bravely in defense of our country despite risking persecution while doing so. In principle, I’m not thrilled about banning any words. I do think it’s a slippery slope, but as a teacher I definitely see kids using slurs in a rampant fashion to the point where they are very hurtful to others and also to the point where it objectifies those groups promotes hatred and intolerance.

      • alabamafutbol says:

        +1. I bet taking the Lord’s name in vain, whether yelling “Jesus Christ” in anger, saying “godda****,” or whatever, won’t produce any kind of ban.. obviously gay slurs are completely unacceptable but is it MLS’ place to deem it less acceptable than other forms of profanity/putdowns?

        A very slanted political statement from a sports league, that much can’t be denied- whether you applaud them for it or not

      • solles says:

        fair point but in this case Gordon didn’t take the lords name in vain, he used a homophobic slur, and the league has been very consistent with punishing that behavior. 3 game ban. End of, im over it.

    • Devin Brown says:

      The entire point of any insult is to call someone something you think will offend them.

  12. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    I remember going soccer in Uruguay and Argentina with chant stadium homosexual slurs at visitting team. How I miss my childhood.

    • jhf says:

      remember we live in 2013. POLITICAL CORRECTION runs the Western world

      not saying something wrong or right, just pointing it out

      • Gnarls says:

        It really isn’t about being politically correct. It’s just about common decency.

        • MA1 Rodriguez says:

          Political Correctness, Latin Euro, Eastern Europe, and Latin America these slurs are normal. I screamed; “trolos” at Boca fans.

      • scottedio@aol.com says:

        I am Sailor. Sailors are known to be foulmouth.

    • stpauljosh says:

      and if an entire stadium was yelling “sp!c” you’d be down with it?

      • MA1 Rodriguez says:

        Care for it. I served Navy and worked alot Marines, so political correctness is a sign of weakness and hipster’s cliche. I care less for “spic”, I grew-up hearing worse things at “real” soccer stadiums

  13. Johnny Rocket says:

    3 game suspension for a gay slur? aren’t we giving power to the word by making it so? It’s a WORD. Literally just a sound. So if it’s a slur it’s probably the 3 letter one with an F that means cigarette in UK?

    it’d be great if we stopped caring and then the word would mean nothing.

    • ChiTown says:

      I’m sorry, I didn’t understand anything you said. My apologies, but you just used a bunch of meaningless words. My bad. Maybe if you found some way to convey meaning and cultural understanding via another method since words have no meaning.

      Do you even realize the stupidity of using words to convey the thought that words have no meaning?

    • TomG says:

      The problems happen when we stop caring.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      OK, if you want to take the etymology all the way back the UK version comes from flame which then has obvious anti-gay implications.

      You really believe the word would be used less if there was no penalty?

      And MLS can’t even police publicly-audible slurs reflecting on its image? Even if we don’t want to be in the FA business of policing soto voce comments, pretty much everyone could hear this.

    • MA1 Rodriguez says:

      There’s players that use excessive force in their force, yet these players don’t get this type suspension. Look at Galaxy vs Chivas games, the game is full excessive violence only one red card to the guy didn’t commit a foul…haha

  14. jhf says:

    well all forms of disgusting language should be banned, but it’s a part of sports.

    But certain words should not be used. Did not Zidane get banned because he head butted a player who insulted his sister?

    Saying the F word is offensive and very un-PC. He said it out of anger, maybe he said it to shock him but it was uncalled for. So he is banned. 3 games is enough

  15. Javier says:

    When did it become a crime to insult someone? Doesn’t the 1st amendment to the Constitution protect free speech? It seems impossible not to say anything without offending a particular person or group in America these days. And every person that is insulted feels that some major crime has been committed and the person that makes the comment needs to be punished. Has this country really gotten that sensitive? Some times you just need to get over the comments and get on with your lives. I don’t know what was said, and it doesn’t really matter to me. That a person can’t swear, insult, or otherwise say something to another person especially in the middle of a heated game says something to me. It tells me people are too ready to disregard the right to free speech.

    • ChiTown says:

      If you’re going to claim some high ground about free speech in America–you should actually READ the First Amendment.

      It says you have the right to be free from Government reaction based on your speech. Free speech has absolutely nothing to do with how an employer wants to treat the actions of their employee.

      I bet you’re the type of person that runs around screaming how we’re going way from the Constitution as a country.

      Have you ever even read it because you don’t even understand one of the most basic, simple concepts laid out.

      • Nats says:

        Of course, MLS has the RIGHT to sanction him. We’re saying they SHOULDN’T sanction him, because the freedom to speak one’s mind is of far greater value that one’s need to be protected against insults. We’re taking issue with fascists like YOU who want to control people in every way, right down to the words they use and, by extension, the thoughts they think!

        • ChiTown says:

          Do us all a favor.

          1. Go read the Constitution you claim to love.
          2. Grab a dictionary and look up what fascist means.

          You seem to think you don’t have to play by the rules in life. We have rules. Tough. You are a bigot.

          • MN Footie says:

            Very interesting debate. And yes, ChiTown is, of course, absolutely correct to characterize the 1st Amendment as a protection of individual liberty at the hands of an oppressive government. The argument that the MLS is wrong to suspend gordon because of “THE FIRST AMENDMENT, MAN!” is an incorrect argument.

            THAT SAID, I tend to think that, though the First Amendment has no bearing here, it stands for the cultural ideal that free speech is a societal good. I guess my point would be, ChiTown, that though the MLS is is perfectly within its legal rights to suspend – heck, expel – Gordon if it wants, is it good for society to embrace that sort of position, culturally? We may agree that this sort of language/slur is abhorrent, but I tend to think that, rather than supporting a ban of hurtful words, we should take confidence in the fact that our ideas are superior; given time superior ideas will defeat inferior ones. I don’t know that I’d want to limit the cultural (not necessarily legal) right to expression in order to get us there faster.

            Also, fascism is, above all, oppression and anti-liberalism. I think I’m arguing for a liberal position here, and it seems (don’t take this the wrong way, just a thought) that you’re arguing against a liberal position.

            My two cents.

      • Nats says:

        Hey ChiTown. If you were standing on a street corner preaching about how Alan Gordon should be suspended by MLS, and I came around with a gang of people and prevented you from speaking, would you say, “Well, the 1st amendment only says the GOVERNMENT can’t interfere with my speech, it says nothing about private citizens?!?!?!?” What an oaf!

      • Lucas says:

        I would also like to point out that if “it seems impossible not to say anything without offending a particular person or group in America these days,” you must have very little to say.

        • ChiTown says:

          No kidding.

          I’ve found that people are claim we’re too PC are the people who intent to offend and use that as cover.

    • dfs says:

      Would you be saying the same thing if it was a racial slur?

      No one’s saying anyone should be suspended for calling an opponent a F***ing A**hole. or saying they slept with their mother. Just don’t be racist or homophobic.

      And this isn’t anywhere near a free speech issue. Businesses have a right to punish abusive language and behavior by their employees. If you were in a business meeting that got heated and you said what Alan Gordon said you’d be fired. Free speech doesn’t mean individuals and businesses can’t judge you based on what you say.

    • Jason B says:

      Free speech my butt. He’s playing a professional sport. MLS is his employer. If his employer wants to fine him, suspend him, or fire him that’s their right. If this incident happened outside of the stadium involving you and another person you’d have a point but Alan Gordon’s employer has specifically told him that he is not to use that slur on the field.

      This is not a free speech issue.

    • solles says:

      it does not protect hate speech and the law has repeatedly supported that view.

      • Ed says:

        Hate speech. Give me a break. A straight guy calling another straight guy the F word is not hate speech. If Will Johnson was gay then you’d have a point.

    • RB says:

      “When did it become a crime to insult someone? Doesn’t the 1st amendment to the Constitution protect free speech?…”

      Wow I must have totally missed the aspect of the story where police charge Alan Gordon with a crime and the justice system denies him his constitutional right to free speech!

  16. 2 says:

    I love this discussion going on.

    Most Americans are in favor of legalizing gay marriage. Most probably have no problem with it other than it might make them slightly uncomfortable but people are allowed their opinions, but not allowed to discriminate against others. Never a justification for that,.

    PC culture sucks. can’t we all just treat each other equally or does the govt need to make it the law here in 2013.

    • danny says:


    • Northzax says:

      Who said anything about government? This is a private employer. If Alan Gordon wants to call someone a homophobic slur, he is perfectly freeto find an employer that tolerates such behavior.

  17. G.Bean says:

    If I called a co-worker that at my job I’d get fired. Ok, maybe I wouldn’t get fired, but if TV recorded me using the slur at work, I’d get fired. Well maybe I wouldn’t get fired if I said it about a competitor. I’d imagine that someone would have to apologize so we could get back to work, unless it was said to a competitor, then I wouldn’t really have to apologize, but would because it’s the right thing to do if I lost my temper. But then again we don’t engage in physical combat with each other in my business, so I don’t lose my temper.

  18. 2 says:

    freedom of speech vs freedom from discriminatory speech

    • ChiTown says:

      Freedom of speech has literally nothing to do with this. The Government isn’t trying to do anything to Alan Gordon.

      • danny says:

        I wish you could see how old some of these commenters are. Mind blown.

        ChiTown thanks for writing some meaningful thoughts on here today. No thanks to just about everyone else.

        • ChiTown says:

          Scary, huh?

          I have a lot of gay friends who are very involved in fighting for equal rights. It angers me when I see people so nonchalantly discarding something that is so hurtful and offensive.

          • AzTeXan says:

            Punishment is too harsh. Dude made a mistake. In a couple decades LGBT people will have their rights. Just takes some time for enough old people to die and enough younger people to reach voting age. Relax.

            • QuakerOtis says:

              Circa 1845: “In a couple of years, black people will be free, so I can call them N…. all I want.”

              • QuakerOtis says:

                Ok, so maybe a bit of an exageration on my part, but I think we should make an example of this in the private sector because we should not/can not do it via government. The cause is worthy, and I don’t think the punishment is too harsh.

        • Travis in Miami says:


  19. DomDdom says:

    A homophobic slur is akin to a racial slur. That is hugely different than calling someone an “m’er effer” or “a**hole” et al. Sure, they’re all just words, sounds, wind, etc, but the connotation and meaning behind those words are what differentiate them. With as many problems as soccer is having globally with racist and fascist chants on top of homophobic slurs being thrown around (as evidenced by the many, many campaigns through various leagues, and FIFA as well) I find it absolutely refreshing to see MLS clamping down on this. I have no problem with profanities, or even some shoving or professional fouls, maybe I’m old school in that way, but racism or homophobia should be attacked and I am glad to see it being done in the league I follow and support. Progress. I know that Alan Gordon immediately responded and took responsibility, which I’ll give him credit for, but it is a deeper problem when this is the first thing that comes to mind in the “heat of battle.” While it may be harder to retrain current pros, these rules and punishments should be seen as a way to be building tolerance and understanding for the kids coming up. Hopefully in 10 years or so, homophobic slurs will carry the same public shame as racial slurs do today.

    • Silversurfer says:

      Domddom- your post is refreshing and you are seemingly a voice of reason but I take exception to a part of your post. When you wrote, “That is hugely different than calling someone a m’effer,” No it’s not. My mother passed away a few years ago. I’m still raw about it. Call me a m’effer to my face and I’d take great offense. You may argue that you didn’t know or mean it like that, but you said it. Many who have posted today, only consider slurs to be offensive when they deem them so. Who truly makes that decision? That’s the politics of political correctness and it is a slippery slope.
      Businesses should have the right to discipline employees for discriminatory or ill intended comments. The MLS has made this call based for public relations purposes and for that they should be commended.
      What truly shocks me today is the intolerance of the tolerant. Alan Gordon made a mistake and I would expect wil not do so again. What ever happened to forgiveness?

      • DomDdom says:

        I apologize for your loss Silversurfer.

        I mean no disrespect, but would you feel the same way had your mother not passed? Would you feel (or did you feel prior) the need to defend those who would feel personally attacked and the subject of hate from this verbal disrespect? I really do not mean to argue, but I’m genuinely curious, because I think a lot of this may come down to personal experience. Many of us don’t join the 10k Breast Cancer run until we’ve been personally affected. Not to say that M’effer isn’t offensive, but I think that regardless of our individual friendships or knowledge of a targeted group, the words F****T or (please excuse this example, it’s just to make a point) N****R, we know that these are absolutely wrong, while M’effer (I’d imagine) has it’s roots in a deed done by someone who is perceived to have committed a wrong doing, if that can help make the difference in my point. I’m not saying it isn’t as offensive to some people, and perhaps should be banned, but to me, it’s different.

        I completely agree that many words, used as insults, in our society are offensive. Many for different reasons. The words that are meant to garner hate toward, or at the very least disrespect or belittle a specific group of people seem to me, to be more offensive than those that are more general. I’ll admit, I’ve used quite a few four letter words in my personal history, and I’m sure many that I’ve used have offended others, but I’ve always tried to steer away from any that direct hate toward a specific group based on ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation largely because I know that they come from a place of hate, not frustration or more general anger.

        I’m sure if the league asked a variety of people which words to ban, eventually, players would be off the pitch for talking, but I think it is reasonable to define hate speech, punish the use of, and enforce it. Like you said, it’s a slippery slope, but it’s one I think the league has done a good job at so far.

        As for AG, I used to love the kid. I still have his boot from his first professional season in Portland where he went nuts and scored 18 goals (in like 20 games if memory serves, granted my memory is not what it used to be), but I cannot defend or condone (nor would I ever want to) the type of language he’s used, no matter how he may have meant it. Any respect I’d held onto has now gone sadly. I don’t forgive him per se at this point, but I’ll forget him to an extent and move on hoping this will better the situation in the future for the sport, and future generations. He’ll serve his time and I think most rational people will be okay with that knowing that he may always be remembered as one of the guys who was reprimanded for using a gay slur. He’ll have to live with that, and so will we.

  20. brian mcguire says:

    I used to respect Alan Gordon, not anymore! What a d-bag!

  21. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I think the league will set an example, given the high profile Don’t Cross the Line campaign and the fact that it was a nationally televised game. Also, with Rogers coming out and his subsequent retirement,MLS is trying to portray themselves as an enlightened league that would accept openly gay players. They’ll throw the book at Gordon…with the red card, he’s looking at 5-6 games.

  22. ChiTownAndDown says:

    Welcome to modern-day America: where we are ever reminded to consider the freedom of bullies before we consider the victims of systematic disenfranchisement.

    ChiTown is right on. I cannot believe the kind of BS that people are talking right now.

    • ChiTownAndDown says:

      IMO, Frank Yallop should have to suffer some consequences for creating an environment where his players feel they can talk that kind of garbage.

      This all starts with the coaches and the way they run their practices. How many times do you think that word gets thrown around the SJ locker room? On their training field? Yallop has got to take responsibility for how he runs his squad and that includes the kind of language they use on the pitch. Disgrace to the badge. Disgrace to the league.

      • ChiTown says:

        I’d rather he take responsibility for the “Bash Bros” nonsense. Let’s throw a cool nickname on some thuggish play and call it a day is what he’s thinking.

      • solles says:

        I think a 3 game ban for the player is enough. Yallop didnt make him say it.

      • USMNT searching says:

        Take a hike Chi ‘defense’. Most of you ‘hang ’em high crowd’, have got it all got it wrong again. Consider your arguments before projecting one’s childish PC objections due to players off handed comment. Grow some first, then get back to us.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      “Welcome to modern-day America: where we are ever reminded to consider the freedom of bullies before we consider the victims of systematic disenfranchisement.”

      Perfectly stated!

      • byrdman says:

        But are you guys not doing the same thing. Bullying others who don’t agree with you. If you were truly “tolerant” of others, would you not allow others the right to believe differently. I’m not advocating the language or the desire to disenfranchise anyone. But Chitown said words do mean things. I agree. So explain to me what tolerance means, and why it doesn’t apply to people who have taken the other side of the argument in this case.

        It’s similar to the “there are no absolutes” statement. Really???? Isn’t that an absolute statement. It appears to me, and maybe I’m misunderstanding, that everyone is not applying the same rules to themselves that they want others to live by. And now the bullying is on both sides. Just one man’s perspective.

        • CG says:

          You ask too much, byrdman. This is an internet discussion board. You either agree with me or you’re wrong. What is discussion amongst anonymous friends anyway?

        • ChiTownAndDown says:

          Because bullying someone using homophobic language isn’t initiating an argument; it’s dehumanizing the person, both the target of the slur and the group of human beings who have to suffer with being dehumanized day-in-and-day-out.

          I’m not saying someone is less of a person, or not a man, by saying they are wrong. But that’s exactly the intention of that homophobic language. And that’s not an argument any more than getting slugged in the guts is an argument.

          • solles says:

            dont even have to use that many big words…its hate speech, plain and simple, and it is not ok in our society. end of.

        • ChiTown says:

          That’s hilarious.

          The intolerant guy is screaming intolerance because someone calls him on being intolerant.

          Doesn’t work that way.

        • XPK says:

          There’s a difference between “the right to believe differently” and the right to discriminate against people with whom you “believe differently”.
          The GLBTQ community has been and continues to be systematically discriminated against in this country on many levels. Language plays a large part in this (can “marriage” be defined as something other than “one man + one woman”, for example) so language is very important.
          For example, certain religious people ARE “applying the same rules to themselves that they want others to live by” by legislating their religious morality against homosexuality. The problem is that you shouldn’t be able to do that in this country.
          This is why I fail to see how there is “bullying on both sides”.

  23. Ryan says:

    If he called someone the N-word this wouldn’t even be a question in anyone’s mind. But because homophobia is still far more pervasive in our culture than racism, idiots think it’s not that bad to call someone f_____t because it’s “just a word and/or insult”.

  24. byrdman says:

    Gotta say the whole moderation thing needs to change.

  25. Lazio Curva Sud says:

    The word “gay” was co-opted during the last half-century to remove the negative stigma from homosexuals. This worked well enough to an extent, but it hasn’t kept playground children from throwing it around as an insult. The kids figured out what it meant, like “special” means handicapped, “custodian” means janitor, and “flight attendant” means stewardess.

    You can browbeat adults into conforming to such language rules by threatening their jobs and reputations. Good luck fooling the kids, though. If this disturbing pattern keeps up, children will gradually check out of sports “because they’re gay”. By the time they are properly indoctrinated, the window for playing pro sports will have closed.

  26. Kaz says:

    I said “Boo-urns”. o_o

    …but srsly, I’m glad the appropriate punishment was given by MLS authorities. It’s up to Alan Gordon now to work toward fixing a tarnished image and respect for others. Even as a Quakes supporter myself, I have to say that it’ll take a lot to redeem himself and amend that awful display.

  27. Weaksauce says:

    I wonder why “homo phobic” slurs offend soccer fans the most ?????


    • Good Jeremy says:

      crawl back in your hole.

    • ChiTown says:

      Here’s another one.

      This blog entry is really letting people fly their true colors.

      • Ed says:

        You should move to that one country where everyone is decent, tolerant, intelligent and thinks just like you do.

        • ChiTown says:

          I couldn’t care less how intelligent you are.

          I will call you out if you insult people I care about.

          • Ed says:

            It’s not enough for you to be ‘right’ or to make a well reasoned argument, you also feel the need to insult and ridicule the people you respond to. What does that say about you? You’re no better than Alan Gordon.

            • Falsify says:

              “you also feel the need to insult and ridicule the people you respond to”

              I don’t see anywhere were he did these things? Stop being a troll.

              • Ed says:

                ChiTown says:
                April 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM
                People like you owned slaves.

              • Ed says:

                ChiTown says:
                April 15, 2013 at 4:03 PM

                You seem to think you don’t have to play by the rules in life. We have rules. Tough. You are a bigot.

    • solles says:

      living up to your name weaksauce

  28. Brian says:

    Time to up the suspension to 5 games. At this point, players know it is unacceptable and enough time has passed that players should be modifying their behavior.

  29. G.Bean says:

    Is Will Johnson a homosexual? Didn’t someone before use a gay slur against him?

    • LeTiss says:

      If he is, he’s deep in denial. At game’s end he brought his infant daughter over to the Timbers Army to celebrate the victory.

  30. whoop-whoop says:

    And what of the long held “tradition” of thousands of fans yelling a similar slur in spanish every time a goal kick is made… ?

    • Fred says:

      They should be ushered out of the stadium and issued a 3 game suspension as well.

    • Gnarls says:

      That’s becoming less and less common, at least at the Home Depot Center. The supporter groups explicitly forbid it, actually.

  31. Good Jeremy says:

    Is 3 games maybe a bit much for a first offense? Maybe it could be shortened to 2 with an apology in addition to community service, or have a shorter sentence for first offenses and much longer suspensions for subsequent offenses? It was a heat of the moment thing and I doubt it was said with any malice so he should definitely be fined and suspended, but missing almost a month for a heat of the moment comment is excessive.
    My bet is he never thought of the meaning of this insult and simply repeated an insult he had heard all of his life without thinking about it. Educate him, suspend him, fine him, but be reasonable on a first offense.

    • ChiTown says:

      How can an insult be without malice?

      • Good Jeremy says:

        Two easy examples.

        Do you hear people say motherf***er? Are they actually implying that the inanimate object or person they are mad at practice incest?

        When people say God D**** are they actually calling on God to punish whatever it is they are angry about? When they say Jesus Christ when they are angry or surprised are they actually asking Christ to come forward?

        Of course not. They say these things because they are common phrases that are uttered often in anger by those around them, so they have adopted these words to use in anger while completely ignoring any actual meaning.

        I think that using homophobic slurs in the heat of the moment is also using offensive phrases but detached from their actual meaning. I also think that homophobic slurs should be punished while those that I listed above shouldn’t be, so don’t twist my words and say that I think saying “Christ almighty” should be treated the same as calling someone a slur. I am just stating that saying something in the heat of the moment has a very different context than saying the same thing in a calm situation.

        • Northzax says:

          There have already been two warnings, Mark Burch and Colin Clarke. I think it’s highly unlikely that Gordon would do this again, but the punishment isn’t just for him, it’s also a deterrent to others. I wouldn’t mind an escalator clause, but I think that would violate the cba. So three for the slur,and another for the red. Plus a warning to yallop for the swarming.

  32. nate says:

    The number of homophobia apologists on this board is really saddening to me.

    • Ed says:

      Homophobia apologists? I think the biggest gripe is the 3 game suspension, but I guess I’m a bigot for thinking that’s a little harsh.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I’ve yet to see anyone who hasn’t condemned Gordon.

      • LeTiss says:

        Exactly. The question that started all the above was whether the likely three game suspension was not enough or just right.

    • ChiTown says:


    • pjsmoov says:

      Congrats on your moral exhibitionism. What he said was inappropriate but guys say dumb things all the time. And who in world actually respects what Alan Gordon has to say about anything?

  33. DomDdom says:

    Regardless of what people think is right or wrong surrounding this issue, the league has set a mandate, and said that using these homophobic slurs is punishable by X, Y, or Z and AG broke that rule, plain and simple. We can debate what the league should or shouldn’t punish, but when a rule is established, and broken, the punishment is what it is.

    Anyone defending the use of a discriminatory slur, be it racially or sexually motivated really is on the wrong side of history here. We will eventually see sexual orientation discrimination as we did with religious or racial discrimination in the past. Of course there will be bigots until the final days of human existence, but the shifts in social awareness and propriety will be very different from where they are today.

    Who knows, maybe stupid people will find a common cause to rally behind and be the next social movement, freeing them from centuries of discrimination and ridicule, then the league can start handing out bans for players calling each other idiots, et al :) but, until then, I’m sure it will be fine to use colorful language against another player as long as that language isn’t deemed racially or sexually hateful.

    Seriously, the rule is there. Alan Gordon broke it. He recognized it (immediately by facial expression) and apologized for it. And while that doesn’t make it okay, it shows he knew what was coming and will suffer the punishment because of it.

    • pjsmoov says:

      Calm down. Those are only a few words with no lasting effect. He apologized so let’s move on. Perhaps we should punish the Onion for it’s news segment some time ago about soccer being gay.

      • DomDdom says:

        Calm down? CALM DOWN???

        Just kidding. Nah, I’m not up in arms or anything, just wanting to reiterate that he did the crime, will do the time, and I think it’s right that he’s going to be punished. People are saying 1 game, or 4 games, or whatever. The league has a rule. It’s defined as 3 games and Alan Gordon has broken it. Simple answer to an unfortunate problem.

        • DomDdom says:

          I forgot to somewhat disagree with your “no lasting effect” statement though. I think that the continued use of these types of slurs will continue to perpetuate and fuel certain groups of people. Just look at some of the intolerance in this thread and the gas it’s thrown on this dumpster fire.

          • pjsmoov says:

            What intolerance? I haven’t noticed any. Like others, I think this is overblown. It’s an insignificant comment in a league with some trash talkers. It won’t have a lasting effect.

            Gays will soon have marriage rights nationwide, something that wasn’t even on the agenda just a few years ago.

            I wish Robbie Rogers would rejoin MLS.

            • XPK says:

              “It won’t have a lasting effect.”
              Yes, and the reason it won’t be a lasting effect is because the MLS is taking a stand on the issue to ensure this type of thing does not continue.
              “I wish Robbie Rogers would rejoin MLS.”
              Incidents like this could be precisely why Robbie might not want to rejoin.

              • Ed says:

                MLS is probably the most tolerant league in the world. Much, much worse across the pond.

              • Good Jeremy says:

                Yeah, I wish we could get a more authentic experience. I’ve yet to see MLS fans throw bananas at black players. Why doesn’t the entire crowd yell sexist slurs in unison? Can’t we just have one game where fans in the stands fight each other based on religious or ethnic differences? No real riots? We’ll never be Europe or South America.

  34. Jacknut says:

    Lost in all of this is that Gordon would first have to play three games of something similar to soccer before he could be banned. Running around and hoping the ball clangs off you into goal isn’t the same thing as soccer (see also DC United *sad panda*)

  35. Roger says:

    A lot of you keep using historical oppression or laws to dispute the merit of other insults being equally damaging. To those I ask what if a player calls another player a b*tch, is that not a misogynistic insult that is aimed at a specific group that was born female and has historically been impressed and has also faced legal struggles? So does a player get banned for doing that? If players are going to be punished for the things they say, they should be punished for all insults, not just the ones deemed appalling. I am a san jose fan and I don’t condone the use of homophobic slurs, derogatory terms, or misogyny of any kind, but do you guys really think Alan Gordon or even Marc Burch are bad people because they said something regrettable? A ban was ridiculous the first time it was done. Fine them, have them issue a public apology and have them volunteer at an organization of a group they have offended. A ban should strictly be for infraction of the game and the play itself.

    • Roger says:

      Oppressed* not impressed.
      And to add on to what I ended with. I would not oppose an additional ban for his tackle on charra (I believe it was), and as for the elbow, I’m not entirely sure it was intentional. The review doesn’t show him look at sylvestre before jumping or swinging his elbows.

    • Ed says:

      +1, but it would have been nice for you to make your point and also ridicule and insult another poster in the process.

      • David says:

        I don’t think it makes him a terrible person, I’d agree that he lost his temper and said something he regrets, hopefully for reasons beyond that he’s being punished. But there’s good and valid reasons for the punishment to be as harsh as it is, and he’s going to have to serve it.

    • solles says:

      all the variants of “I dont condone homophobic slurs, but…” are really really sad.

  36. LorenzoJose says:

    I’m thinking that the MLS won’t miss Gordon one bit during his month vacation.

  37. pjsmoov says:

    In the heat of the moment he said something inappropriate and idiotic. He apologized so let’s move on. Did he really cause any lasting harm? Does anyone really care what this guy says about anything? It’s a man’s game and men sometime say vulgar things to try to irritate opponents. Hopefully ChiTown never holds any political office or gets a job writing a university speech code. I wonder if we can put the Onion on suspension for three weeks for its video making light of insulting soccer some time ago.

    Anyway, I was actually hoping to see Robbie Rogers on Anderson Cooper tonight but it looks like that might be preempted. Wish he’d come back to MLS.

    • XPK says:

      “It’s a man’s game and men sometime say vulgar things to try to irritate opponents.”

      Would you make this same argument for a racial slur?

      “Did he really cause any lasting harm?”

      To Will Johnson? No. Does it cause harm to people in the GLBTQ community to have language like this used to insult someone? Yes.

      I don’t understand how The Onion writing an article = Gordon using a gay slur to insult an opponent. There simply is no correlation between the two, and I don’t understand why you are so keen to try and make it seem like there is. The Onion is certainly nothing the MLS has jurisdiction over.

  38. Jim says:

    Dude should have just called him a sh*t head or a**shole. Then we wouldn’t have to debate whether or not MLS is excersizing their freedom of speech by slapping his stupidity.

    I’m just saying, you can still hurl a ton of insults without crossing the race/gay hate lines.

  39. Cdconk says:

    What Gordon did was inexcusable. With that said, I’ll quote a “stupid” person. “Stupid is as stupid does.” I’m sorry I’ve not had the time to go through all the posts, but Gordon works for mls. He’s an athlete. Wether or not his insult was meant in a literal sense or just an outburst of frustration, no one can tell. He made a “stupid” mistake and he knew it. Calling someone a name that has inflammatory history and insults but grouping with things that are different is wrong. He doesn’t like it go play in a homophobic bigoted league or to some posters go form one. I believe the fine fits the crime at this time. Professional athletes, wether they like it orbit are role models. Having a sports hero call someone “gay” is against the good of all just as a racial slur that continues to happen in pro sports to this day. I’ve been all over the world and have many futbal friends who I’ve been floored by with their comments insinuating race makes others less. It’s the same thing. It’s gotta stop, as do I drinking and posting stuff like this. Gordon needs to take his lumps for being bad and making a “stupid” desistion with his choice of words expressing his Frustaition. Now, sorry for the rant, back to my pint. And I do apologize to the “stupid” posters on this site that feel I insulted them. As do I apologize for any alcohol induced misspelling or grammatical errors

  40. The Mind Police says:

    At least 4 more days for what he was thinking

  41. Sean says:

    We love to create Drama here in Portland. Alan Gordon said bad words. Apologized and admitted his wrongs. Move on.

  42. Matt B. says:

    Why is it not a problem to call someone lame or dumb?? They are just other ways of saying someone is crippled or mute. It is like saying crippled=uncool or mute=stupid. Serious question I’ve wondered.

    • alabamafutbol says:

      +1, the day is soon coming when all words in the English language will be perceived as offensive to some group.. obviously gay slurs are unacceptable but the point remains, as long as people remain hypersensitive it’s only going to get worse

    • XPK says:

      There is no historical context for crippled or mute being punishable by law. Religious institutions do not have teachings that crippled or mute = death and eternal torment. Nor do religious institutions try to legislate their opposition to crippled or mute people having the same rights as non-crippled or non-mute people.

      So no, it is not the same.

      • Ed says:

        What about r_tard? That OK in your book?

      • Matt B. says:

        You are wrong sir. Murder of the handicapped by law is very much a part of history, maybe not American history but history nonetheless, and when did this become a religious argument? You went from government to religion. Gordon never said anything in a religious context.

  43. Micah says:

    I am confused why Gordon used it. Will Johnson is not even gay.

  44. Ed says:

    Question: Would MLS have suspended Gordon if he had called the guy a r_tard?

    Is it acceptable in MLS for a player to call someone a derogatory name for a mentally handicapped person, but not acceptable to use a gay slur? Where do they draw the line?

    • Mike says:

      If he couldmake up with a few..your momma is so fat jokes would they reduce is suspension?

    • ConradB says:

      Can’t be sure, but I would guess that would also warrant a suspension. With the publicity campaigns against it over the last few years, that word seems to have crossed the invisible line.

      • Ed says:

        I want people to see the problem i’m alluding to, that is MLS trying to regulate what people can/can’t say in the heat of battle. It’s pretty silly anyways, Alan Gordon made a fool of himself right in front of everyone to see. Isn’t that enough punishment? Why does MLS have to dish out suspensions for this sort of thing? Now they’ll have to specifically outline was words/slurs can and can’t be used which is just madness.

        • solles says:

          no, they’re attempting to eradicate the use of homophobic hate speech, as our society at large is attempting to do. that’s it.

          • Ed says:

            Why is homophobic hate speech at a higher priority than other forms of hate speech?

            • XPK says:

              If we’re all agreed it is hate speech, and that hate speech, in general, is something we don’t like then what, exactly, is your point?
              The recent ballot measures, the supreme court cases, suicides from bullying, etc. are the reasons that this particular hate speech might be more in the forefront of people’s attention.

              • Ed says:

                I don’t agree that Gordon’s actions constitute the label of “hate speech”. If Will Johnson was gay then it would be different. The point is that MLS now has set a precedent to punish players being caught saying a particular hurtful word. I used “r-tard” as an example of another hurtful thing someone could plausibly say in a heated moment. Will MLS hand out suspensions if a player is caught calling someone the R word? What other words will MLS have to keep an eye (or ear) on?

              • Ed says:

                Another thing, what if someone says the exact same insult in Spanish or another language? How does MLS enforce that?

            • the original jb says:

              Finally someone hits the nail on the head. How can an institution punish someone for one word and not another? Is there a literal list of unacceptable words that all players have been briefed on formally? Serious question, I don’t know. Because if there’s not, then any punishment is arbitrary and subjective, and ultimately unfair.

  45. ThaDeuce says:

    The league is too p.c. When it comes to the use of language, I’m with Carlin, George.

  46. Sportsmanship says:

    I’m sort of disappointed in Ives Garcelep for bowling such a loaded question. When sportsmanship is lost, no one ends up winning. The punishment should fit the crime. Sportsmanship is the highest ideal a professional athlete can achieve. When one of the pillars holding up the very foundation of organized competition is questioned, the punishment should be the most severe. There is no greater disrespect one can display toward sport than to utter slurs at their competitor, of any type, and at any level. Trash talking has no place in sports. It prevents the game from evolving and elevating to the next level. Show respect for your opponent. Without them both the game and competition are not possible.

  47. BFBS says:

    In any other line of work, if you use a slur, you get fired on the spot. I don’t see why sports should be exempt from that.

    • pjsmoov says:

      Not true. Rappers get away with saying offensive things. Some even get TV gigs later on. How many rappers have gotten in trouble for bragging about murdering other black men and routinely calling black women b*****s and h**s?

      And firing someone is a terrible response to a few words. Let people apologize. Many will be sincere, remorseful, and understand why others found those words to be offensive. When you fire someone you not only affect them but their families. What if they had children who relied on them for something like health insurance? Too bad, I guess. Daddy said a few offensive words so they need to suffer as well.

      We have young men and women who fought in the desert of Iraq and in the mountains of Afghanistan. But apparently some fragile delicate flowers might wilt after hearing a few words.

      All of you white knights need to chill with the moral exhibitionism.

      • XPK says:

        I regret to inform you that the entertainment industry doesn’t really have the same standards as a typical workplace with non-discrimination policies.
        In a typical workplace, if someone used this language, they would at least have to meet with HR and take some sort of sensitivity training if they weren’t fired. They would probably be given a warning and warned of future conduct.

        • pjsmoov says:

          What’s your point? BFBS said they’d be fired in “any other line of work” and I pointed out an exception. I also suggested that firing was an excessively harsh response and you confirmed that a meeting with HR was the likely response to such conduct.

          • XPK says:

            well, to be fair, I finished that particular sentence with “if they weren’t fired.”
            Considering the incident was caught on television (not just an internally non-public incident) the league is obligated to treat it differently than an internal, non-public incident.
            A public suspension for a public incident does make some sense given the circumstances.

  48. Kenny_B says:

    It is a slippery slope. Look at John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. Slur used (different kind-same intent), prosecution follows. It is the wrong path to go down. Doublespeak is coming.

    One game is plenty for a suspension. I’m a huge supporter of gay rights. But soccer isn’t the forum for political & cultural change. It will happen much more organically.

    Mentally retarded didn’t use to be a slur. It has become one now and something down the road will replace it as a slur since people will wish to insult others intelligence. It is a never ending loop.

    • XPK says:

      “I’m a huge supporter of gay rights. But soccer isn’t the forum for political & cultural change. It will happen much more organically.”
      Explain how that happens organically? Or how that has happened organically in the past without organizations and sports taking a stand at some point.
      Would we argue that baseball wasn’t “the forum for political & cultural change” when Jackie Robinson started playing in the major leagues?

      • pjsmoov says:

        Jackie Robinson in 1947 in a segregated country. Gays have marriage rights in some states and aren’t segregated. I believe they can actually play professional sports as well. MLS is on the bandwagon and not in the vanguard. It’s already happened, to a large extent, organically.

        • XPK says:

          I’m sorry, you’re definitely going to have to define what you mean by “organically”.

          “MLS is on the bandwagon and not in the vanguard.”

          The MLS is not taking a stand on marriage rights for gay people (as far as I know). They are taking a stand on using gay slurs to demean other people. The two issues are not necessarily associated.

    • RAMONE says:

      “Mentally retarded didn’t use to be a slur.”

      Neither did the N word, nor W-back, nor a lot of things. People once accepted demeaning labels. Most have had their Huck Finn moments though. In context (i.e. referring to a person who is actually mentally retarded and explaining to someone that this is the case) it is not a slur. Nor is telling someone that a certain person is gay somehow insulting them if true and out. Calling a perfectly normal human being a “re#ard” because you think mentally retarded people are a good group to make fun of and ostracize is the very definition of slur. Same with “f’in’ ‘bundle of sticks'” (AG’s words, not mine) – the purpose is to offend suggesting being gay is a very negative thing.

      You are correct about language. Just read Shakespeare if you want some “olde-timey” insults. In the US, present day, hurling insults about a race, color, creed, national origin, sexual preference, gender are simply off limits. Bodily functions that most of us are born with though, still fair game.

    • solles says:

      so, what… we shouldnt bother trying to eradicate hate speech? how 19th century of you.

    • brent says:

      Yes, I see thought crimes coming down the line. It looked like you were going to call him a racially biased name so you are suspended. You think that is ridiculous? Before in the 1970’s people were thinking , “you call a player a name during a soccer game and you will get suspended 3 games” -its actually happened now. whats next. The president kills millons and receives a Peace Medal. ha ha ha. sheeple sports fans.

      • XPK says:

        “It looked like you were going to call him a racially biased name so you are suspended.”

        Only in a paranoid, alternate universe, Brent.

        “The president kills millons and receives a Peace Medal.”

        I agree with the irony of how that Nobel Prize went down, though “millions” is quite an overstatement of the reality.

  49. alabamafutbol says:

    Also, interesting to read all the personal bashing of Gordon on here.. when you respond to a person’s use of a “hateful” term with “hate” towards him.. what does that say about you as a person?

    Glass houses and such

    • solles says:

      with very few exceptions,people are talking about the language used, not the person who used it.

  50. Jason says:

    Let’s chill out and think about the context of the slur. Its not like he was being vendictive. Playing a child’s game brings out all sorts of emotions that are not within a context you can critize in depth.

    • RAMONE says:

      How would you define vindictive then?

      “Having or showing a strong desire for revenge” would be how it is defined. Watching a grown man, spitting mad yelling and pointing at someone and the words “f’in f@gg0t” come pouring out would be almost the literal definition of vindictive slur.

  51. Caxamarca says:

    why any suspension? it is not a “gay slur” it is an insult from aimed at a supposed heterosexual, it may have been a gay slur at one time but as it is slang the usage defines the meaning. It would be the same as “sissy” which is no longer considered a “gay slur”.

  52. brent says:

    does anybody have list of words that are unacceptable to say by MLS standards?

    Can you say prick?

  53. brent says:

    If you called a black person a “wigger” would the player get suspended?

  54. DC Josh says:

    Gay slurs, just like racism, are hate crimes and have no room in society, especially sports, which are supposed to be arenas where multiple cultures come together. MLS will hopefully make a stand against this.

    • Ed says:

      A straight man calling another straight man a f—-t is far from a hate crime

    • alabamafutbol says:

      Gay slurs are not hate crimes- if nothing else because there’s no “crime” involved. Get a grip.

      • DC Josh says:

        Based on your definition, then racism is not a hate crime. And Ed, I agree they are not hate crimes when directed to straight people, but what if Will Johsnon is not straight? My point was the use of gay slurs by straight men should not be trivialized.

        • Ed says:

          I’m on board with your last point. I just don’t see how MLS can effectively monitor this type of thing. They will probably punish .001% of all the hateful things that are said on an MLS field.

  55. Alamo City Ultra says:

    Oh brother! My post was deleted. Now this site is being a sissy!

  56. srf says:

    I think whats telling was his reaction to Will Johnson’s three fingers. He winced. Knew he said something that crossed the line. MLS has made crossing that line 3 games. Gordon will learn his lesson. If he could take it back, he would. He would want to whether his ban is 3, 5, or 1.

    Players don’t want to sit, and especially don’t want to sit for saying something stupid. I don’t think there is any reason to change the standard suspension from 3 games. 3 games is plenty of incentive for players to remove this term from their hs lockerroom vocabulary.

    Also, I don’t think Gordon is a bad person because of this. He said something stupid. He knows he said something stupid. He knew it the second he said it. Now he apologized, will sit three games (which is a BIG deal), should reach out to a LGBT organization, and move on.