- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 26, 2012
- 2 Comments
- Colin Clark
I’ll be honest. I wanted to stay away from this story but it’s something that is worth brining up here. During Friday’s Seattle-Houston game, Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark yelled a pretty nasty two-word slur, a homophobic slur, to a Sounders ball boy.
Clark posted an apology for his remarks on Twitter a few hours after the match.
[tweet https://twitter.com/cOlin_cLark7/status/183448078064422912 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/cOlin_cLark7/status/183448097676984321 align=’center’]
MLS issued a statement on Saturday to announce it would gather facts on the situation and weigh potential disciplinary action against Clark.
This is one of those ugly and rather embarrassing moments for MLS. Thankfully Clark has already stated he would reach out to the ball boy and apologize personally to him for the comments but naturally that won’t be enough for some.
This is also a first for MLS as there is no known MLS precedent in this area. The only other league that I know of that has had to deal with such an issue is the NBA. Kobe Bryant paid $100,000 for directing similarly vile language toward a referee last April, while Joakim Noah received a $50,000 fine for his slur toward a fan in May 2011.
Clark can expect to fork over at least a small proportion of his salary ($98,713 in guaranteed compensation in 2011, per MLS Players Union documents) for his comments. It won’t be in the same range number wise as Bryant or Noah but more in line with the typical MLS standard of $1,000-$3,000.
But the line that has to be dealt with quickly is the public perception of this case. It didn’t help Clark or MLS out in the least bit that ESPN.com had a quick article up on Saturday (or Friday, I honestly didn’t see it until Saturday) about the situation.
Both the league, Houston and Clark must deal with the situation quickly and effectively. Clark has already stated he would support the @gay4soccer movement on Twitter. Clark is a good kid that let his emotions get the best of him but he also has to know he’ll be made an example of here by the league. Houston doesn’t play this weekend which means we likely won’t hear anything about this fine/suspension until Friday, at the earliest.
Honestly it is time for the league to also make a stand on items like this. Flushing out the nasty language like this needs to happen sooner rather than later. The longer the league takes to deal with this the tougher it will be to win over some fans.