By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Country:
    United States
    #1 Bill Archer, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

    Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

    By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
    Down in Austin Texas there's a guy named Richard Soldana who owns and runs a PR firm which specializes in marketing to the Mexican American and minority communities.

    So naturally when the "lie firm" of Garber, Precourt & Greeley went looking for someone willing to pimp out Austins' Hispanic community for cold hard cash, Soldana was their man.

    This is at least partly because, as we all know, Don Garber has a long-cherished fantasy that fielding a random group of men running around in short pants will cause Mexican-American soccer fans to swoon with joy, and 20 years of evidence to the contrary - including one folded team - has not served to dampen his faith one bit.

    So when you're looking to gin up some support with the locals in Central Texas, what could be more natural than waving the "worlds' game" flag around a bit? Ole, ya'll.

    (Soldanas' firm is of course in addition to MLS' other - apparently "non-Mexican" - PR firm, plus the five member lobbying team, plus the big name real estate development lawyer and some clown named Kit McConnagle who seems to be a local sports icon but mostly seems desperate for actual paying work. More on all that in a bit.)

    From the very beginning of the MLS/PSV full-court-press charm offensive aimed at prying loose 20 or so acres of prime downtown Austin City Park land (at no charge, of course) for Frat Tonys' playhouse, one constant theme repeated over and over by their unbelievably creepy man-on-the-ground Dave Greeley has been to the effect that PSV loves them some Hispanics. Every time Greeley speaks he makes a special point of telling everyone that the team is particularly interested in "Hispanic outreach" and that the "Hispanic community" is a critical component in all their planning.

    So as Soldana (yes I know there's supposed to be a damned tilde over the "n", I just don't know how to make one), in return for a nice fat check, is squiring Greeley around Austin (and I do hope he remembers to have the car interior fumigated afterwards), to break bread with all the Mexican-American movers-and-shakers down in ATX, you can be certain that "we love and respect you brown folks" is high up on his list of bullet points.

    As when he meets up with the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (that's Soldana on the left)

    [​IMG]

    and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC) Board of Directors

    [​IMG]

    and the United States Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA) Board of Directors

    [​IMG]

    In between buying them food and booze and handing out free scarves - and I will bet anyone anything they'd like that PSV/MLS has already spent more on genuine Adidas/MLS licensed free scarves than they spent in all of 2017 marketing the Columbus Crew) you can be sure that Dave, Tony and Don's respect and unbounded love for the Hispanic community is topic #1.

    And it's a cynical, racist, baldfaced lie.

    When FratTony bought the Columbus Crew from Clark Hunt in 2013, the team had in place an extensive and highly effective Hispanic outreach program.

    Under then-President Mark McCullers and Hunt Sports, who both took the whole thing very seriously in terms of resources and emphasis, the Crew worked tirelessly at making the Hispanic community feel welcome in Crew Stadium.

    In addition to the more-or-less standard "Hispanic Heritage Night" games, they hired a full-time Hispanic Outreach coordinator, as well as someone who generated Spanish language content on the teams' official website. All in-stadium PA announcements were made in both English and Spanish. There was a loud and very active supporters group "La Turbina Amarilla" whose drums and horns, located smack in the middle of the Nordecke, gave the whole stadium a heartbeat. (I'm particularly partial because my kid used to wander over into La Turbinas' section and they'd let him pound a drum sometimes. What a treat.)

    Less than two years after PSV, under President Dave Greely, took over team operations, it was all gone.

    No more Hispanic Recognition night. No more Spanish language game reports. Spanish ceased to be heard over the stadium PA system. Spanish language advertising was terminated. The Crew Hispanic Coordinator position was vacated.

    The final insult for the Hispanic fan community was when, in the 2015 playoffs, the team refused to sell La Turbina their traditional seats in the Nordecke. They were simply told no, without explanation. They were, however, offered alternate seats in opposite end of the stadium. Where visiting fans are seated.

    They rightly told Crew management to go ******** themselves. They had worked hard, earned respect and they weren't about to accept insults in return. A decade's work gone in a flash, at the direction of Dave Greeley.

    Someone asked team President Andy Loughnane, who gives new meaning to the term crapweasel, why the Crew stopped literally all marketing aimed directly at the Hispanic community. He replied that now Crew marketing (until, that is, they stopped all local advertising a year ago) is aimed at "everybody".

    Which, as I understand it, is not exactly how marketing to minorities works. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Many, many people - the Crew's previously intensely loyal Hispanic fan base among them - feel that this is an example of racism, straight up, hold the ice and the slice of lime.

    I'm no expert on that kind of thing and I try very hard not to go there unless we're talking about Grant Wahl making jokes about black people eating fried chicken. That one seems like a no-brainer.

    Likewise, I have no reason to believe that Mr. Soldana is working with Greeley in anything other than good faith, unaware of the kind of folks he has cast his lot with.

    To me, this is simply a case of the "business metrics" that Don Garber prattles on about like a six year old on Ritalin: his cynical sockpuppets at PSV - Precourt and Greeley - identified a vulnerable fan group that they could easily alienate, offend and chase off as part of the overall scheme to drive down attendance without causing too much commotion. It could have been Armenians or Fiji Islanders. All that mattered was that they could be isolated without repercussions, because those could only come from MLS and Garber has their back.

    Whether that's racist or simply morally reprehensible I'll leave to you. I can only add that the smiling folks in those pictures are fortunate that they live in Austin, where Dave Greeley makes their restaurant table groan with free food, drinks and swag.

    If they lived in Columbus, Ohio, that guy they're happily posing with would be refusing to sell them seats because of the color of their skin.

    To have Precourt lackey Dave "Wormtongue" Greeley running around Austin passing out free scarves and buying drinks for local Hispanic business leaders while telling them all about how his bosses love, honor and respect Hispanic fans is nothing short of utterly, stunningly, unbelievably offensive to almost anyone with any kind of moral compass.

    Which leaves Don Garber in the clear.
     
    Kejsare, WrmBrnr, Robbo Crewfan and 23 others repped this.

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Bill Archer, Jan 11, 2018.

    1. Smoga

      Smoga Member

      Jan 28, 2002
      Brooklyn, NYC

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I never go to any of these kind of games, like "Hispanic Heritage Night". I feel these kind of things exclude me and and my family and favor other races/genders/ethnicity over mine. Teams should do away with that kind of blatantly racist promotion, and I commend Columbus for standing up for everyone, regardless of race or heritage.
       
      Three and Three repped this.
    2. Timon19

      Timon19 Member+

      Jun 2, 2007
      Akron, OH

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      This ought to be good...
       
    3. AEAAFC96

      AEAAFC96 Member+

      Mar 27, 2006
      NYC
      Club:
      Arsenal FC
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Don Garber couldn't sell chemo treatment to someone diagnosed with Cancer.
       
    4. Bill Archer

      Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 19, 2002
      Washington, NC
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Are you also opposed to, say, Girl Scout night? Does Youth Soccer Night somehow make you uncomfortable? Does "Teacher appreciation Night piss you off? Does Service members night make you stay home? Fan Appreciation Day? Gay Pride Day? Women's Night? Special Olympics Night? Cancer Awareness Night throw you into a funk because you don't have cancer?

      I think you're nuts.
       
    5. Olo2317

      Olo2317 Member

      Jun 1, 2014
      Club:
      CA River Plate
      Country:
      Argentina

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      i'm hispanic i don't need a hispanic heritage night and other marketing nonsense to get me to go see a game...just give me high quality soccer...with exciting players.
       
    6. TOAzer

      TOAzer Member

      May 29, 2016
      Club:
      New England Revolution

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I used to think Garber was genuinely bright. He isn't. I used to think Garber had, as Bill puts it, a "moral compass". He doesn't. I used to think Garber would be honored in time as one of the major forces for this country reaching the highest level in the sport. He will not be, and he will deservedly not be. He may even earn the distinction of being in time recognized as one of the major forces as to why this country eventually failed to reach the highest level in the sport.
      Yes, Don, it is hard to age gracefully. But did you have to revel in disgrace?
       
    7. Starpork

      Starpork Member+

      Nov 12, 2013
      Club:
      Philadelphia Union

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I take it you also keep the kids home from school during Black History month.
       
    8. Feraligatr19

      Feraligatr19 New Member

      United States
      Dec 6, 2017

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Thinking from a #SaveTheCrew perspective, this is the kind of information that should be spread to soccer fans in Austin, particularly the Hispanic community. If people in Austin get turned off by Precourt from learning how crappy he is, maybe that slightly boosts the chances of saving the team? Idk, maybe this is wishful thinking though.
       
      Robbo Crewfan, Unak78 and Olo2317 repped this.
    9. POdinCowtown

      POdinCowtown Moderator
      Staff Member

      Jan 15, 2002
      Columbus

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Note the group was called La Turbina Amarilla (the yellow machine).

      Usually I follow the maxim of not attributing to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. But in the Crew's interaction with fans the last couple of years, that's tough.
       
    10. The Irish Rover

      The Irish Rover Member+

      Aug 1, 2010
      Dublin
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      Ireland Republic

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      And then you have Whiskey Steve Bannon. Everything is adequately explained by both.
       
      BalanceUT and Olo2317 repped this.
    11. Bill Archer

      Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 19, 2002
      Washington, NC
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Sorry.I corrected the copy but am leaving this here to memorialize my utter failure in Mrs.Thompson's Spanish 2 class.
       
    12. Initial B

      Initial B Member

      Jan 29, 2014
      Club:
      Ottawa Fury

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Is it just me, or does PSV's actions in Columbus sound more like trying to actively erode the fanbase, leaving less spectators to want to come to games, to justify their metrics in favour of leaving? It looks like they've been laying the groundwork for their relocation ever since they purchased the club. Or am I getting a faulty reception from my tinfoil hat?
       
    13. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Folks, national politics is a different thread from this, no matter what side of the aisle you may be on. Please take it there. Local politics and US Soccer politics, as it relates to this issue, is and should be fair game.
       
    14. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I'm with you on that, though I still tend to lean away from malice in general--even here in some cases. But you can have both.
       
      The Franchise, BalanceUT and Olo2317 repped this.
    15. Timon19

      Timon19 Member+

      Jun 2, 2007
      Akron, OH

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Maybe this comes from being so close to it all and knowing the history but:

      DUH. I mean...
       
      barroldinho repped this.
    16. song219

      song219 BigSoccer Supporter

      Apr 5, 2004
      La Norte
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      Vanuatu

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I'm not that close and I had the same reaction to the post you are referring to.
       
      CrewV Man, barroldinho and Timon19 repped this.
    17. KC96

      KC96 Member

      Mar 2, 2013
      Club:
      Sporting Kansas City
      #18 KC96, Jan 12, 2018
      Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I didn't know about any of this prior to the article. Thank you (x 1,000,000) Bill Archer for bringing this out in the open, and for going where no other supposed US soccer "journalist" would dare to go.

      BigSoccer is now my primary source for news on the Columbus Crew situation, which I follow with keen interest.

      The facts presented here speak very loudly to me, and I am beyond disappointed that my 22 full seasons financially supporting MLS at the stadium have resulted in what looks like blatant hypocrisy and collusion at the top.

      Columbus fans obviously feel many times more betrayed. Keep fighting the good fight by shining the light of truth. What happens to Columbus impacts all MLS and US soccer fans.
       
    18. song219

      song219 BigSoccer Supporter

      Apr 5, 2004
      La Norte
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      Vanuatu

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Didn't the Crew a few years ago negotiate a local tv contract on a station that many of their fans couldn't get? In light of current events it makes more sense now.
       
      Robbo Crewfan and Adrian repped this.
    19. Feraligatr19

      Feraligatr19 New Member

      United States
      Dec 6, 2017

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Yep, it cut down on the team's exposure within Ohio, and it pissed off a lot of fans. As you say, that tv deal makes perfect sense now.
       
    20. kgilbert78

      kgilbert78 Member+

      Dec 28, 2006
      Cowlumbus, OH
      Club:
      Borussia Mönchengladbach
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Except that the LA Dodgers did the exact same thing with the exact same national cable provider's network at about the same time, and they're not trying to leave LA anytime soon. So I don't think you can play the "malice" card on that one. Incompetence, maybe.
       
    21. song219

      song219 BigSoccer Supporter

      Apr 5, 2004
      La Norte
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      Vanuatu

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      If I remember the Dodger's deal correctly it was a record-breaking deal. Was the Crew deal (by MLS standards of course) that good?
       
    22. Starpork

      Starpork Member+

      Nov 12, 2013
      Club:
      Philadelphia Union

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      I think the difference is that similar to YES in NYC the Dodgers are a big enough draw to actually get fans to subscribe to a new network. Very few are doing that to watch MLS 20 times a year.
       
    23. cwilke1

      cwilke1 Member

      Sep 1, 2006
      Glen Cove
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      The inconsistent behavior by Precourt is concerning and I agree that he is a scumbag.

      But your conclusions are rather over the top. Your piece really lacks the power of understatement.

      Many people in the world are imperfect like myself. If Precourt and Company are reaching out to work with oppressed minorities, that should normally be a good thing.

      The conclusion of the inconsistencies you discuss is that Precourt is a snake-oil salesmn and Austin ought to be concerned about making a long-term commitment with him. The racist part of it (if you really want to call it that) is really secondary to the untrustworthiness part.
       
    24. Jazzy Altidore

      Jazzy Altidore Member+

      Sep 2, 2009
      San Francisco
      Club:
      Los Angeles Galaxy
      Country:
      United States

      Garbers' Big Austin Push: Lies, Racism and Desperation

      By Bill Archer on Jan 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM
      Bill, I thought you were above the SJW virtue signaling. You can criticize Garber for incompetence and negligence, but throwing out racism on these facts is reckless. And you can't excuse yourself with the "Ill leave the conclusions to the reader" throwaway at the end when your headline is a screaming racism accusation.
       

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