WashPost: Fan Sues U.S. Soccer Over Alleged Discrimination

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by geordienation, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. geordienation

    geordienation Moderator

    Apr 21, 2001
    Newcastle United FC
    My screw-up in the thread title. Could someone change it?
  2. evilcrossbar

    evilcrossbar New Member

    Jan 19, 2002
    Great way to increase the support of MLS and US soccer among the Hispanics in this country (and I'm referring to US citizens here)!

    I understand the need to increase the number of US supporters, but this was unacceptable.

    This guy (who's also an MLS supporter) was going to the stadium to support the USMNT yet was not able to purchase tickets in better seats despite being willing to pay because of his last name.

    It would be nice if you idiots would read the *****ing links instead of knee-jerk flamming in response to an incorrect tread title.

    I wonder if he gave up on the MLS? Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if he did.
  3. Sober Tom

    Sober Tom Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Glassboro, South Jer
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Agreed. Although, seeing that your from G-Boro(same here), you could probly walk to Rowan and get the same kind of treatment, but alot more fun.
  4. copaantl98

    copaantl98 Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Too bad no qualifying matches will ever be in New York.
  5. Serie Zed

    Serie Zed Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    Let the courts sort it out. If the USSF can show that they had a system in place that was designed to ensure fans supporting the home side would be in the lower bowl (rather than one that guaranteed that white Americans would be there) they should be fine.

    Juneau, Bangor, Jackson Hole here we come.
  6. CbR

    CbR Member

    Nov 10, 2000
    Bergen County NJ
    the only way it could be in ny is if we get our own stadium and metro season ticket holders get first dibs on USMNT tickets
  7. TeamUSA

    TeamUSA Member

    Nov 24, 1999
    Tianjin, China
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The poor bastard. Did I tell you about my non-Hispanic sounding name and how I ended up in an upper level?

    Get over it. Find a different source for tickets next time, like bigsoccer.com or e-bay. There were plenty of tickets available that were good. Have fun trying to prove how you got screwed and yet all the other Honduran fans had killer seats.

    If I was looking to argue this case, my angle might be to show how we didn't want to have any fights in the stands and because of potential risks we asked which team potential buyers might cheer for. It's a slippery slope, but once the USSF shows all the fan violence from football matches Mr. Martinez could be screwed. I hope he and his lawyer get laughed out of court. He might have had a better case if he would have purchased a ticket.

    He truly is an American now, a chump looking for a cheap lawsuit in order to profit.

  8. RSwenson

    RSwenson Member

    Feb 1, 2000
    the only soulution is to hold it in a place where presales will sell out the place before any tickets go on sale oto the public... the USSF tried this twice in RFK... the first time against guatemala was successful and the entir lower bowl was US (well, 90%)... the second time they tried it (against Honduras) is when they go in trouble... first of all, it had been done once and they were wise to it... second, they distributed order sheets to the "soccer family" that basically included all of the families of those kids running around on Sat mornings... most of them said, what the hell is this?... I know someone from Honduras who might be interested, let's give it to him/her... or, better yet, maybe I should place the order for him/her...

    the funny thing is that they are getting sued over a ticket policy that resulted in most of the lower deck and all of the upper deck were from Honduras...

    and you know what??? it is all their own fault!!! it is greed that puts the qualifiers in a 60K stadium when they know darn well that most of the tickets are going to go to the opposition and that they have to contact so many weak supporters whose tickets are going to wind up in the hands of the oppposition... they can presell 20K tickets to hard core US supporters in places where it would be very hard to organize a vocal traveling support section... anyone who doesn't think that 20K can be intimidating in the proper size stadium simply has never seen such a stadium... and the only times this has been tried, it has worked (Columbus, Portland)... it even kind of worked in KC, and that was a completely wrong-size stadium... someone should be fired over the selection of RFK stadium in the first place... it was that incompetent or naive a selection...

  9. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The ticketing policy for the Honduras game is the reason there were so many more Honduras supporters than US supporters at the game. The pre-sale policy (non-TicketMaster) was: only groups of 20 or more could buy lower bowl seats before the tickets went on sale via TicketMaster. How many average Joe American fans are going to fork over for 20 seats and then try to sell them themselves? Not very many, I assure you.

    How many Latino Supermarkets were willing to do that a sell them at a slight profits to their customers? Plenty. How many tour organizers? Lots.

    Once the tickets did go on sale through TM, the folks who'd patiently waited so they could buy a single ticket ended up in the upper bowl, if they got anything at all.

    My advice for the future? Just put the damn tickets - all of them - on sale through TM and the DCU front office. Let the market take care of things.
  10. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Threads merged.
  11. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    Exactly. This type of an issue needs to be addressed. And just blowing it off without reading on the issue (come on, how many of you really did??!?! It was a bad link listed!) is pretty much what I'd call down right puerile.

    As for issues like people moving & not supporting the US, I'd like to see what you people would do in the same situation. Picture leaving a place you love, leaving your family behind, and heading off to a new country. If people still didn't turn out to cheer for their coutnry of birth, I'd be a little worried. Look, they moved to the US for reasons so surely they like the place. If they don't sprint to the front of the line to buy tickets to cheer on the US when they play Bermuda, big deal. There are more important issues to worry about.
  12. Dignan23

    Dignan23 Member+

    Jul 6, 2001
    Fort Vancouver, WA
    Portland Timbers
    The solution seems pretty clear to me. Let's just play our home games in Canada.

    If the recent immigrants want so badly to cheer against the USA, let them travel to Halifax or Saskatoon to do it.
  13. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For what it's worth, I ended up in the upper level too w/o a hispanic name. I really feel bad for this guy, but I ended up paying an extra $70 a ticket to some dude to get a lower-level seat while I was in the parking lot. I was glad I did that too, because I would not have been comfortable sitting where my original seats were located. He could have shown up at the stadium in a US shirt and did the same thing.

    When I called the DC United office, I was told that lower-level tickets were not available also. I don't have a hispanic name and no one would mistake my Jersey accent for that of a Honduran supporter.

    Also, if this guy was a DC Untied season ticket-holder, he should have gotten tickets to the game with the season ticket package.

    The real problem was playing this game in DC. That's not a kind venue for the US in terms of support when the opponent is from Central America.

    All of that said, the guy probably has a good case. I also didn't read the article the first time because I thought this was related to the Honduran embassy staff having a hard time getting tickets in the lower-bowl. I should have read the article first.

    The question becomes this. Our team plays qualifiers that draw significant numbers of hostile fans. They throw projectiles and hurl abuse at our fans and players. No one wants to lump anyone of hispanic decent together, but how do you prevent such activity with out being un-PC or outright breaking the law? Do you hold a game in DC and only sell 15,000 tickets, or do you simply hold matches in remote areas of the country?
  14. seraph

    seraph New Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    Depends on what you consider "smart marketing". If you want to sell lots of tickets, you will play Mexico in the LA coliseum. If you want your team to have a chance to succeed in front of a home town crowd, then you play in Columbus. I think USSF are finally figuring out that the long term benefits of success out weigh the short term ticket revenues that they have been selling us out for.
  15. Dixie

    Dixie New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Tallahassee, Florida
    No, its more important to have a home field advantage and I don't think many will argue with me. I'd much rather Play Mexico in Columbus in front of a packed house of 25,000 or in Kansas City with 35,000 being mostly US fans than play in LA and have 100,000 fans 75,000 of which are wearing green.

    If its about $$ then of course put it in LA but I sure hope its about winning.
  16. Sober Tom

    Sober Tom Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Glassboro, South Jer
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's something I don't understand at all. Why doesn't the USSF segregate the stadiums at all? i.e., like every European country. Por ejemplo, if you're going to play Honduras in D.C., set aside a specific section for Hondurans only. Let's say, a block of 5 or 10,000 seats. You know you're definately going to sell those out with Hondurans. Plus, you have the Hondurans altogether so you don't have them spread all over creation. This brings the total number of tickets available to like, 40,000. Now you increase demand among U.S. fans because there are 10,000 less tickets for purchase. Also, this creates a better atmosphere. Would you rather have all the Hondurans spread out all over the stadium, making it look like it's actually bein played in Honduras, or would you rather have them in one part of the stadium, away from the camera. Does anyone see where I'm going with this?
  17. Craig P

    Craig P BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 26, 1999
    Eastern MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For anybody who talks about "greed" or "selling out," it costs money to run the USSF. I'm not in favor of them squeezing out extra money they don't need by ceding a home field advantage to the opponent, but I have less of a problem if they really need the cash.
  18. JohnW

    JohnW Member

    Apr 27, 2001
    St. Paul
    Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.

    One of the reasons that European countries can segregate their stadiums is because of the demand for tickets from their home supporters. (Obviously, the threat of violence also factors in greatly.)

    Unfortunately, the demand of Honduran national team supporters in D.C. greatly outstripped the demand of the U.S. supporters (otherwise the game would have been a complete sell out). The practical solution in this country is moving qualifiers to other sites like Columbus, CMGI, etc.

    Also, I agree with prk166 that a lot of this reaction is knee jerk. At the time of the game, there was a lot of anecdotal evidence that people with Hispanic last names were denied the right to purchase tickets.

    For those of you too busy to read the story, here's one sentence worth considering...

    "While it is legal to deny tickets on the basis of geography or a fan's loyalty, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin."

    The courts will determine if the reported practice of discrimination occurred and whether there should be any damages.

    Finally, comparisons to ticket sales for qualifiers at any Caribbean or Central American site break down pretty quickly because of the relative homogeneity of local populations.

  19. stinky

    stinky Member

    May 14, 2000
    Long Beach, NY
    USSF was trying to create a pro-US atmosphere....its not different than a concert promoter withholding the first few rows for celebrities / families / friends....

    i don't see a serious problem here for the USSF.....

    USSF was selling based on who you supported, not your nationality....

    the fact that the crowd was mostly hondurans and a lot were sitting in the lower bowl hurts this guys chances....

    and this lawyer is a friggin scumbag for taking this case on....

    what i don't understand is how the ticket office at dc united withdrew his season ticket location just for this game.....maybe he had those flex voucher things.....

    but as a metro season ticket holder, i get the same seat for every metro game, even if it is a double header....and if there is a separate international game promoted by metro, then i'm not guaranteed those seats, but more often than not, i get em....

  20. nancyb

    nancyb Member

    Jun 30, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, this guy could have had a half season plan. He probably also missed the deadline for the pre-order. Still, DCU had a really screwed up policy for this game that I hope is never, ever repeated.
  21. seraph

    seraph New Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    I would agree that home town advantage and winning is more important. I just don't believe that has been EVERYONE'S priority...
  22. DaMarcus the Hoosier

    Jun 14, 2002
    No, and this is exactly the issue. The fan was never asked WHICH TEAM he was supported. Apparently, the only criteria used in determining his ticket request denial was his name. USSF could have very legally segregated based on team support, and I believe that was the intention. However, in lieu of any feasible way on the ticket application to determine which team an applicant supported, they reverted to using last names, i.e. national origin. It is precisely at that moment, if that is what happened (and that is what the fan is claiming), that the USSF crosses to the wrong side of the law.

    Any posts saying "the guy could have bought scalped tickets, on Ebay, etc. etc." are totally irrelevant. Given the general state of the US as a nation of immigrants, one should be very troubled by rejection (for tickets, for bank loans, for club membership, whatever) based on national origin.
  23. glove

    glove New Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    I hope he doesn't intend on collecting a penny from USSF as it is not a profitable organization as of yet. Case doesn't have a wooden D##k to stand on!! USSF will only have to prove it was trying to reward faithfull members of affiliated assc./orgs by giving them first picks much like PSL's for NFL clubs. SAMS,USYSA,Screaming EAGLES(WHERE MOST Hondorans probably got ticks),season ticket holders etc.. All I have to say is what a little bitch he is probably called Joel Atlas Skirble(yo soy el capitan-for dc area folks) or some other ambulance chaser. Go piss yourself.
  24. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    Well put.

    If this version of the facts is accurate, I am very disappointed in the USSF (as well as anyone who supports them on this). If the only criteria is his name, it was -- plain and simple -- wrong to refuse to sell him the best available tickets.

    I agree that we need to do what we can to maximize home field advantage, and some good suggestions are included in this thread (perhaps, for example, we should split the games between Columbus and New England and sell them in packages). But, at the end of the day, if someone shows up to buy tickets, they shouldn't be discriminted against because of their name, or their race, or their national origin. That's not what this nation is supposed to be about, and it's certainly not worth throwing away those principles just so that we can have a better chance to win a soccer game.
  25. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Proxima Centauri
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree completely. Clearly there was discrimination, clearly the USSF fooked up, and clearly, I think, the fan has a strong civil case. I hope for the sake of soccer in the US, however, that the typical outrageous jury award does not happen this time.

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