Sat, 19 Sep 2020

MLS addresses politics in fan code of conduct revisions

Field Level Media
19 Feb 2020, 08:19 GMT+10

Less than two weeks before the start of the 2020 season, MLS revealed an updated fan code of conduct that includes revisions for political messages, as well as addressing threatening behavior.

Signs, symbols or images that pertain to "campaigning or advocating for or against any candidate," will not be allowed. Opinions on "political party, legislative issue or government" also are banned.

A symbol at Portland Timbers games last season stirred controversy between the team's fans and the league, which banned the flag carrying the symbol. It was meant to denounce a rise in hate incidents in the local area, but the league objected to political nature of the "Iron Front" symbol of three enclosed arrows pointing down and to the left.

The changes to the 2020 code of conduct were made in consultation with the Independent Supporters Council and two fan groups -- one representing the Portland Timbers (Timbers Army) and another for the Seattle Sounders (Emerald City Supporters).

Also addressed in the new document are signs that display "symbols, images, using language or making gestures that are threatening, abusive, or discriminatory, including on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, ability, and/or sexual orientation."

The 2020 season start Saturday, Feb. 29 with eight games, led by an afternoon contest between D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids. Among the 13 games played on the season's opening weekend will be the debut of two expansion teams: Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF.

--Field Level Media

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