Regular readers of this blog know that the Galaxy/MLS sanctioned fan group Angel City Brigade for their alleged conduct last season. Now that an MLS player’s strike has been averted, the group is fighting back and asking fans for their support beginning with Friday’s opener at StubHub Center:
Hello ACB & Galaxy fans:
As many of you know, last month the Angel City Brigade was sanctioned by Major League Soccer, LA Galaxy front office and Stub Hub Center. As a reaction for a few individuals throwing streamers onto the field during the field of play at the MLS Cup 2014, the entire group will not have supporter privileges for the first eight home/away games and streamers have been banned for the entire 2015 season.
In addition to the streamer issue, much of their rational for these restrictions are from the past; actions that we believed were already sorted and settled (smoke throughout the season for example). Changing the rules midway through the season without notification is simply unethical. We were already penalized for the smoke incidents last season, and now this “encompassing” punishment is penalizing us again.
ACB has hosted hundreds of games with thousands of streamers without incident, the people who threw them were not in accordance with the rest of ACB. We want to make it clear that disrupting the field of play by throwing objects on the field is never ok. However we strongly feel that extending the punishment beyond the scope of streamers is truly unjust.
Since these sanctions were announced we’ve held two public meetings on the issue, read countless emails and social media posts, discussed this issue with the Independent Supporters Council, and have done our best to work with all parties to progress and avoid similar issues moving forward.
Through all this we have collectively planned our next steps and now is the time to announce them. Just as the players are fighting for their rights against Don Garber and the teams’ owners, we need to fight for ours to show the league that we will not be bullied into disbanding or be turned into a booster club.
It is time to remind them that supporters are groups of organized adults who band together for the love and passion of their respective teams. We collectively purchase their product and market it to our friends and family, we market them endlessly on social media, we even market them without choosing too when we are displayed in their ads proclaiming the “passion” of the league.
We are not grade schoolers, nor hooligans that warrant excessive punishments.
Today, as a response to their unjust sanctions against us, the Angel City Brigade is announcing financial sanctions against MLS & Stub Hub Center.
We are calling on ALL ACB supporters & Galaxy fans around the stadium to stand with us and not purchase any concessions, merchandise and parking for the 4 home games that we are sanctioned for:
3/6 vs Chicago
3/21 vs Houston
4/12 vs Seattle
4/18 vs Sporting KC
We have outlined some solutions to help attain these goals:
- Carpool with friends who have already paid for their parking pass (There are many out there)
- Carpool with friends regardless of a pass.
- Park at alternative areas other than SHC
- Eat and drink your fill at the picnic
- ACB will bring food, snacks and waters to these first 4 tailgates
- SHC allows all fans to bring sealed bottled water and small snacks into the stadium, pack a goodie bag!
- Wait until the 5th match of the season on 5/2 to purchase any gear through Team LA or the MLS Gear online shop
These actions are necessary because we feel that Major League Soccer and the FO, spearheaded by the league’s new security chief Ray Whitworth, are unjustly trying to make an example of the ACB to scare other supporter groups into submission. Through his own admission Mr. Whitworth has blacklisted our group (along with the San Jose 1906 Ultras & Ultras Montréal 2002) and mistakenly believes us to be more hooligan group than supporters group.
He even threatened to ban ACB scarves in the stadium (they could be potentially used “as a weapon.”) In good faith we have reached out to Mr. Whitworth to discuss this, to correct any misunderstandings, and to work together moving forward. He has refused to meet and even talk with us.
The league’s disinterest in moving forward, paired with the aggressive punishments, make actions like financial sanctions necessary.
We are sending a message to them the only way possible (through their revenue stream) to let them know that we will always be here to support the LA Galaxy and that we will not be made a scapegoat for their larger agenda.
We will have more updates and news as the week goes on, but in the meantime please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
The Angel City Brigade Board
Any response from the Galaxy, MLS or StubHub Center is appreciated and may be made in the comment section or via email.