As first reported by Seattle-based blog PROSTAMERIKA World Soccer Daily and Fox Football Fonein host-and-annoyance Steven Cohen is the target of a boycott campaign aimed at his advertisers that is beginning to have some bite.
Fado’s Irish Pubs, FourFourTwo magazine and the World Soccer Shop, longtime supporters of Cohen's have agreed to pull their advertising in response to a campaign organized by North American Liverpool supporters.
Another sponsor, Setanta Sports, is reportedly seriously considering joining the boycott as well.
If by some odd coincidence you'd like to help Setanta make up their minds, the address is:
(For an unsurpassable summary of the issues here, I would refer you to OLLIES COMMENTS A COUPLE WEEKS AGO
The goal of the campaign is relatively modest, as explained by Mel Absher, a representative for the US Liverpool supporters:
"What we were asking for is for Steven to provide the information that led him to his 'opinion' or to apologize and give his listeners the facts"
Frankly, this doesn't sound like an unreasonable request. They're not demanding a public flogging - now there's a thought - or that he be tossed off the air. They simply want him to explain what facts he used that caused him to claim that Liverpool fans themselves were largely to blame for the Hillsborough disaster or, alternatively, to apologize and admit he was wrong.
Cohen refuses to do either.
The NEW YORK LIVERPOOL SUPPORTERS CLUB has a good summary of their position on their website, along with a copy of the email they're sending to Cohen's advertisers, to wit:
To whom it may concern,
You advertise on either or both of Steve Cohen's shows on Fox and Sirius. Steve Cohen has, and not for the first time, told lies about the deaths the 96 fans at Hillsborough, claiming that Liverpool fans were responsible for killing their own, amongst other lies. Is this the type of person you want representing your company? Steve Cohen has done this before, apologising when the outrage grew too large. Clearly, he will not stop, so our objective is to see him being put off air permanently.
I urge you to reconsider your purchasing of advertising.
I will be boycotting all your products and services until your support for Steve Cohen and his lies ends.
It seems to me that, unlike say GE or Sears, who could weather a boycott by soccer fans without even noticing, American soccer vendors are very much dependent on an extremely small (by national standards) community and the fact that they've responded so promptly underlines that fact.
So the question is, why doesn't Cohen just apologize? Back in 2006 he made very similar statements and then admitted that he'd gotten too emotional or something and said he was sorry.
This time he refuses to back down.
But how long can he keep up this stance? The list of boycotting sponsors is just about his entire stable, and without them his show can't last a week.
Cohen has backed himself into a corner here. His arrogance and pomposity has continued to grow until he seems to feel he's the voice of soccer in the US, and an indispensible repository of soccer knowledge.
Well Steve, the graveyards are full of men who thought they were indispensible, and frankly, you jumped the shark at least two years ago. Lately you've become nothing but a caricature, a bloated ego in a cheap t-shirt.
Your exit from the American soccer landscape would be the healthiest development imaginable, sending outfits like Sirius and Fox out searching for an alternative. What they'll find is that there are a lot of guys out there who don't just snicker at MLS while pretending to be interested.
Guys with open minds, guys who don't depend on their accent to impress people with how much they know. Guys who respect American soccer for what it is and for what it can become. Guys who don't consider themselves bigger than the market they work in.
Here's hoping this is the end of Stevo.