(Updated below with statement from the league) I've been saying for quite some time that sooner or later someone at MLS was going to notice that Simon Borg is an idiot, hand him an empty copy paper box to put his secret desk-stash of snacks, the framed photos of his dog and that little third place office bowling league trophy he's so proud of into and then escort him to the door before he did too much damage.
Clearly, my confidence in the league was misplaced, and now we're faced with the prospect of a "writer" or "blogger" or "blabber-lipped-imbecile" or whatever his job description with Major League Soccer Soccer is, announcing that having icky-yucky girl people at soccer games is a bad thing.
No, I am not making that up.
Now fortunately, he did it during one of those inane "podcasts" that nobody much listens to (in this case, the more-or-less Official Extra Time Radio and, even better, he waited until 59 minutes into the thing to say it, at which point the three guys who actually cared enough to start listening to it had long since given up out of sheer boredom and flipped on Dance Moms: Miami.
UN-fortunately, a testosterone-averse website called Jezebel, which I am neither going to link to nor further characterize in any way, somehow - incredibly - noticed that Borg, a semi-official member of the MLS fraternity of cool kids, made the following remarks:
"It's fine if you're a female and you want to be a super-fan. Clearly go for it, that's your choice. But there is something to be said for how appealing that might be to the other sex. Having a woman that's such a fan, like painting your face, tuning in to every podcast. I don't know how many males would be into that.
"It's great that in Kansas City there are a lot of women in the stands, it's great, but for the guy who wants maybe a serious relationship... If you are following just casually, but if you're such a die-hard, I don't know, it comes a point that it is a bit of a [I don't want to say] turn-off..."
His co-podcasters attempted to turn him around on this, possibly because they anticipated headlines such as this one today, courtesy of Chivas USA fansite The Goat Parade:
"Sexism for Major League Soccer's Official Media Rears its Head (Again)"
...but Borg would have none of it until at last Howdy Doody (or "Senior Editor" Greg Lalas, I've always had difficulty telling them apart), possibly worried that come next week he might have to start looking for an actual job, took a shot at getting some separation between MLS and Borg's stupidity:
"What you're saying is that it's a turn-off for you."
Borg, who at that point was likely being held down and repeatedly kicked in the head by those co-hosts and technicians who weren't already running for the parking lot, agreed that while it's true that for him personally, having yucky girls around turns him off, he's sure that a majority of fans feel the same way.
Now of course there are several things in play here, the first being that Borg is and has always been a lackwit. Pretty much everyone except the guys who run the league website has always recognized this.
The only difference between this badly thought-out, ignorant and embarrassingly inaccurate statement and the hundreds upon hundreds of other badly thought-out, ignorant and embarrassingly inaccurate statements the guy has made while on the league's dime is that it is so blazingly insulting to a large group of people who MLS has spent years - and millions of dollars - trying to get into their stadiums.
The big problem is that when you have a guy like Borg, whose name is plastered all over the official league website, and who they promote heavily ("Hear Simon Borg's Take on the Upcoming Draft", "Simon Borg Breaks Down the Playoffs", Simon Borg's Preseason Analysis", "MLS Extra Time with Simon Borg" etc, etc, etc,), who then says something this incredibly stupid, it's quite impossible for Major League Soccer to distance themselves from his remarks.
Now that Borg, a semi-official MLS inside personality, is on record telling women that attending an MLS game makes them unattractive to men, how exactly does the league respond?
You can't very well trot out Cohiba Don Garber to make a statement denying that sitting at an MLS match makes females ugly. Talk about going viral in a nanosecond. Professional soccer would be the laughing stock of the sports world by Friday afternoon.
But it sure wouldn't hurt to quietly show Borg the door. If he wants to promote "Sport As Sausagefest" perhaps he should check out bowling.
As for the ladies - hey, who knows, a girl-type-person might accidentally read this page someday - let me be the first to say that you can sit next to me any time.
UPDATED with thanks to BS Legend Sandon Mibut and Stalwart Contributor chr1st, this satement from MLS:
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STATEMENT
During the latest episode of the ExtraTime Radio podcast on MLSsoccer.com, one of the hosts -- Simon Borg -- made inappropriate remarks regarding female fans of Major League Soccer. These remarks were unacceptable and in no way reflect the values of MLS, its clubs, players, staff, or MLSsoccer.com. We apologize on behalf of our organization for those remarks. Respect for diversity is a core principle of MLS and we are proud of the diversity of our League and its fans.
Mr. Borg will be suspended from his position at MLSsoccer.com for seven days, effective immediately. All MLS employees undergo diversity and sensitivity training on an annual basis, and Mr. Borg and the entire MLS Digital group will receive additional sensitivity training promptly.