San Jose Earthquakes’ forward Alan Gordon has been suspended for spewing homophobic language during a game earlier this week. Deeming his language as “unacceptable and offensive”, Major League Soccer suspended the player for three games and fined for an unrevealed sum.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber strongly recommended that Gordon attend diversity and sensitivity training after the he verbally attacked Will Johnson of the Portland Timbers.
“Major League Soccer stands against discrimination and prejudice of any kind and will not tolerate this type of behavior,” said Garber in a press release after the incident. “All of our players, staff and fans must remain committed to respect and dignity at all times.”
After elbowing a player in the face and making contact with another player, Gordon was removed from the game and received two yellow card infractions.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who watched tonight’s match on NBC Sports Network,” Gordon apologized after the incident hit the media.
“The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
To end discrimination and homophobia, Major League Soccer has released PSAS with the tag line “Don’t Cross the Line” in stadium displays and video screens.
“We’re part of a global community, with every age, race, gender, sexuality or ability, everyone is welcome,” the PSA video states. “We draw the line at discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
The PSA included allied athletes such as Kyle Beckerman of the Real Salt Lake, Brad Davis of the Houston Dynamo, Jay DerMerit of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Dwayne De Rosario of the D.C. United, Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, Eddie Johnson of the Seattle Sounders, Robbie Keane of LA Galaxy, Dan Kennedy of the Chivas USA and Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City.
Gordon’s teammate Chris Wondolowski also contributed to the “Don’t Cross The Line” campaign.
Retired player Robbie Rogers’s public coming out prompted the league to take the initiative on ending any forms of discrimination.