The Revolution have been one of the best teams in the MLS this season, and they should be confident heading into Thursday night’s US Open Cup tie against Charlotte, but this article is more about what’s happening in the stands.
The Midnight Riders are the Revolution’s main supporters group, and they have been more than vocal about issues facing the gay/lesbian/transgendered community. They consistently go out of their way to make sure that gay people feel more than welcome to attend games by waving gay pride flags in the Fort, which seems like a good premise, but doesn’t seem necessary.
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For a number of years now there have been gay pride flags flying right next to the teams flags in the Fort. Supporting the gay community isn’t the issue, it’s the manner in which it is being done. Why should we only be waving flags for their community?
After the recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore, it seems clear that there is still a race issue in this country. If we are going to start promoting equality in the Fort, would it be acceptable to bring a black empowerment flag to show support for black people? What if white people feel as if they are getting the short end of the stick, would it be acceptable for them to bring a flag of their own to the games?
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The reason I bring up the race issue is because they are similar arguments. There are groups of people who feel as if they are being looked down upon, and/or being treated unfairly due to something that they can’t help. If we are going to continue promoting equality in the Fort, then why would it not be okay to bring up racial equality in addition to the gay equality?
There is no doubt that having equality in a community is key, but sports is supposed to be the place where everyone is equal. Sports shouldn’t be about making a political statement. Going to the game should be about all gender and races coming together as a community rooting for a squad to win a game. It should be about hugging a complete stranger that’s sitting next to you after a winning goal, consoling a friend after a disappointing loss, and more importantly about having some fun while getting away from the real world, and all of its issues, for a few hours.
I understand that a lot of people aren’t going to agree with my view. I understand I’m going to take a lot of flap for this, but I also feel like this was something that had been said. This article wasn’t meant to attack the Midnight Riders, the gay/lesbian/transgendered community, or anyone else. This is simply asking everyone that when we enter the stadium together, let’s keep the focus on the players and the actual game. The only flag that should be flying in the Fort is the Revolutions because they represent our ENTIRE community.