In the world of Major League Soccer, the Antifa-affiliated Iron Front symbol is a less political and controversial symbol than the original flag of the United States.
The league’s apparent stance, after a whirlwind of inconsistent decisions, hypocrisy, and catering to Antifa activists, resulted in the display of an Antifa symbol being made legal, while the Betsy Ross flag remained banned.
In early September, Randolf and Diana Scott proudly displayed their Betsy Ross flag at a Real Salt Lake game in Utah.
“Diana bought it for me actually, because my other flag was kind of old and falling apart,” Randolf told Fox News.
However, the couple’s pride turned to dismay when stadium officials approached and demanded that they take the flag down.
“They kept telling us if he wasn’t going to take it down, we were going to be ejected from the game,” Diana explained.
“He asked me — he’s like, ‘So what’s the purpose of the flag?’” Randolf said of the stadium official. “I was like, ‘Well, ’cause we love America.’”
However, that explanation didn’t fly with team officials who told Fox News that the league had a strict prohibition against “controversial” banners.
“Recently, and very controversially as well as surprising to us, the Colonial flag has been adopted as a symbol for hate groups,” Real Salt Lake Chief Business Officer Andy Carroll told Fox. “Any controversial flags or other similar banners or signs with symbols of hatred, divisiveness and/or intolerance whether intentional or otherwise will not be permitted in our stadiums. Period.”
While it’s beyond bizarre that the original American flag would find itself listed as a “controversial” symbol because it had been used as a “symbol for hate groups,” Major League Soccer maintained at least an air of consistency when, the very next day, news broke that the league had also banned the radically leftist Iron Front symbol. A sign that, according to the Associated Press, “the league says has been appropriated by some in the loosely structured antifa movement, at times in the context of violence.”
Yet, that air of consistency was shattered on Monday when the league announced they were lifting the ban on the Iron Front symbol. Several different fan groups from the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders met with MLS executives in Las Vegas on September 16th, and, on a teleconference call this week. According to the AP, they made the case that the Iron Front symbol was not a political symbol, but merely an anti-Nazi symbol aimed at thwarting “fascism and persecution.”
According to a statement provided to Breitbart Sports from MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott:
After collaborative discussions with its fans, supporter groups, and clubs, Major League Soccer, the Independent Supporters Council, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust / Timbers Army, Emerald City Supporters, and Gorilla FC jointly announce the formation of a working group by MLS to review the league’s Fan Code of Conduct to ensure clarity and consistency in advance of the 2020 MLS season. This working group will include representatives from the league office and clubs and work collaboratively with leaders of club supporter groups and a cross-section of diversity and inclusion experts. As part of this decision to update the Fan Code of Conduct for 2020, MLS has suspended the prohibition on the Iron Front imagery at matches for the balance of the 2019 season and Audi MLS Cup Playoffs while the working group conducts its analysis.
Of particular note is the inclusion of the outfit Gorilla FC in the league’s working group to “ensure clarity and consistency.” The Gorilla Football Collective (GFC) is a self-identified “Antifa supporters group.”
On the Seattle Sounders “Supporters & Alliance” page, the GFC describes who they are and what they represent:
We are an antifa (anti-fascist) supporter’s group. We are opposed to acts of racism, sexism and homophobia. Every fan of the Sounders is welcome within our community and we accept all who support with us.
This means, that MLS invited an avowed support group for a violent leftist organization — responsible for hundreds of acts of violence and thousands of dollars worth of property damage — to be part of a discussion about which symbols are controversial and political.
Shockingly, the Antifa-supporting GFC decided that the Antifa-affiliated Iron Front symbol was not political.
In addition, the Sounders, an official MLS club, not only feature Gorilla FC on their site, but allow them to use it to recruit more people to a group that is officially labeled as a domestic terrorist organization. At the bottom of their description, Gorilla FC implores people to join their group.
The ad, complete with link, reads, “Join Gorilla FC! Support the Seattle Sounders and our greater Seattle community!”
Given Gorilla FC’s overt support of Antifa, the Sounders, and by extension MLS, are acting as a recruiting tool for Antifa, a group of violent domestic terrorists.
Also of note, nowhere in Abbott’s statement does it say that the Betsy Ross flag will be part of MLS’s reevaluation of the Fan Code of Conduct. Breitbart Sports reached out to MLS Executive Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemanche, and asked directly whether the Betsy Ross flag would be part of the working group’s review of controversial political symbols.
No response was given.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn