Riot Squad Member in Half Time Altercation With Beckham Banned for Life?

That’s according to an official Galaxy press release quoting GM and Coach Bruce Arena that was issued this afternoon:

“We regret the incident that happened at the end of the first half of last night’s friendly at The Home Depot Center. While it is important that our fans remain free to voice their opinions, they must do so in an appropriate manner. We appreciate our players and fans passion for the team and the game, but we all must aim to hold ourselves to higher standards.

We have a very good relationship with the LA Riot Squad and have already reached out to them to set up a meeting to discuss moving forward together in a positive direction. In addition, the LA Riot Squad has informed us that they have issued a lifetime ban to the fan that went onto the field of play.

We want to move in a positive direction as an organization, and ask our fans to support our players and our club as we look to return to the playoffs for the first time in three years. We need the support of our fans to continue providing an amazing home environment at The Home Depot Center as we look to reach our shared goal of qualifying for the playoffs.”

No word on what “higher standard” the Galaxy plans to hold Beckham to for his part in the confrontation.

And the LARS message boards this afternoon are full of members wondering just who has the authority to issue a so-called “lifetime ban.”

Here’s the Beckham video of him appearing to go after the Riot Squad and being restrained:

More details on the Riot Squad incident here.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • mbar

    The statement is missing the part about where Beckham apologizes for challenging a fan to a fight.


    It’s not part of the press release?



  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    The next step would be for the league either to fine or suspend Beckham. Regardless of how obnoxious the Riot Squad became (and I wouldn’t tolerate obscene references to my family, either), Beckham had no business trying to provoke a fan to come out of the stands and “shake his hand.” He even acted like he was going to pull himself over the advertising boards to confront the fan in question. Of course, on-field security would surround the fan before surrounding Beckham.

    The whole problem is that Beckham believes he is “bulletproof.” Both AEG and the league have indulged him because they want to make as much money off of him as possible. Beckham should have been red-carded and suspended for making an obscene gesture to referee Jair Maruffo last season in D.C. but nothing happened.

    If Beckham insists upon this behavior, then his marketing value to the Galaxy, AEG and MLS will disintegrate rapidly. Also, he should know that fans around the league will try similar tactics to get his goat and throw him off his game (and, one of these days, the latter will happen because of the former); he confronted fans in New Jersey but nobody made anything of it because they were opposing fans.

    If Don Garber has any integrity as a commissioner, he should nip this garbage in the bud right now, both with Beckham and fan groups around the league.

  • Studs Up

    Nick, shouldn’t USSF have a say in this matter? The assigned ref must have filed a report I would presume. Fan, player and club behaviour are all subject to sanctions I thought. Beckham’s bravora should not go un-punsihed. He simply cannot smile his way out of this one.

    Also, shouldn’t safety tunnels for players be used in MLS stadiums before things get too ugly?

  • Milano

    Beckham needs Tom Cruise to help him brush up on the acting skills.

  • vincenza simo

    Why didn’t Donovan play in the second half? I thought he was more of a team player then Beckham?!! He was probably crying in the locker room because he wasn’t getting enough attention. Donovan is a joke, MLS isn’t real soccer and why would you not play every minute of a game against some of the best players in the world?!

  • Beaten

    Well, the good news for the Riot Squad is that they are now world famous!

    I see a TV sitcom brewing…

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    vincenza simo, Donovan was one of about six players that Arena substituted for at halftime — including the starting goalkeeper, two starting defenders and two other starting midfielders. All six will be vital for the Galaxy’s playoff chances. Remember, this is just a friendly, AC Milan’s stature notwithstanding. Besides, would you call Inzaghi weak for playing only one half? Would you call Pirlo, Pato or Dida weak for not playing at all? Of course not.

  • Buck

    Joseph D’Hippolito, unlike Beckham’s experience with crass English fans threatening his family in the past, people in the Riot Squad were not saying anything about his family or making personal attacks on the man himself. Not off limits however was Beckham’s integrity. He seemed to take the most offense to someone slapping a replica shirt with his name on it against the wall in front of the fan section. As one of my friend’s put it, it seemed fitting, since he is basically a shirt salesman for the Galaxy, is he not? The worst words used at the game were ‘traitor’ or ‘scumbag’ and the like, middle fingers notwithstanding. I don’t believe anyone on the scene would say that the Riot Squad were engaged in personal attacks on the player or his family.

    Nick, as you allude to in your write-up, there is no hierarchy in the Riot Squad, though there are people who have been around longer. There’s no ‘ban’, since no one has any authority over anyone else in the Riot Squad. The only thing that can be definitively done is ban an individual from posting on the Riot Squad’s on line forum, which has happened in the past due to disruption or racist or violent statements. The person who jumped down onto the field will most assuredly NOT be banned from the Riot Squad’s online forum.

  • Bruno

    And I thought I had feelings for Beckham

  • Dr Evil

    MLS is a joke! Our non-league sides could kick Galaxy’s arses. Beckham never wanted to be there it was his wife that did for the hollywood lifestyle. He is totally professional in every way and you idiots need to stop throwing your toys out the pram because he wants to play at a proper FOOTBALL club in Europe. You should think yourselves lucky he has bothered to turn up at all and the sooner he is out of your mickey mouse league the better. Get over it tossers!!