L.A. Riot Squad Issues Statement on Beckham Incident

The fan group e-mailed it out this evening.

Here it is in its entirety:

What/why were we booing?
We want to support our teams and our players, and we do that week after week. We were really torn between our desire to support the team and the need to register our disappointment with the entire Beckham circus. We don’t fault David for his desire to play for his country and for playing abroad during the off season, but we do find fault with his stated desire to play in Europe rather than the Galaxy. After going out on loan last winter to Milan, Beckham shortly made it clear that he no longer wanted to play for the Galaxy. He returned this month only because he and Milan were unwilling to meet AEG/MLS’ price for a transfer, yet his public comments don’t reflect this reality. Rather, he has rather unbelievably said he is “fully committed” to the Galaxy, as if repetition can make it so. He has been unable or unwilling to show any understanding of why the fans are disappointed with his actions and choices. We chose a friendly match, one arranged as part of the payment by Beckham and Milan to extend his loan, to let him know that if he was unhappy to be here, we were unhappy too.

Did LARS ban anyone?
No. We do, however, have an actual meeting scheduled later this week with Galaxy officials to discuss the matter.

Will we appeal the ban?
We have a meeting scheduled later this week with the Galaxy to discuss the events.

Did we cross the line?
No. We questioned David’s loyalty to the club and we sang, made signs and chanted things that were bluntly dismissive. As far as we can determine, no one from LARS crossed over to referencing his family, as Beckham has claimed. In our discussions on our internet forums prior to the match, we agreed that David’s family (is) expressly off limits. We know that Beckham has received very rough and deplorable treatment during his career, and that’s why we were genuinely shocked by his response to us on Sunday. We don’t believe questioning Beckham’s commitment to our team is over the line, but it’s clear that David feels otherwise.

Explain the confrontation at halftime.
We have a meeting scheduled later this week with the Galaxy to discuss the events.

Will we support Beckham in the future?
We want to support David – we want to support anyone that wears our team’s shirt. Had David responded differently on Sunday, the booing and chanting probably would have ended by halftime. We will almost certainly end the booing and chanting when Beckham plays in his first MLS match at our stadium, but it is ultimately up to David. If (he) shows the evident disinterest he did at the end of last season, or if he provokes us further, we might have something more to say to him, but our ultimate desire is to support him.

Requests for further info should be directed to: info@lariotsquad.org


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

Galaxy-AC Milan Post-Game

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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 www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!