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SBD/July 26, 2013/Franchises
HBO's "Real Sports" Airs Segment On Alleged Racial Discrimination At MLS Chivas USA
Published July 26, 2013
GARBER'S TAKE: MLS Commissioner Don Garber in an e-mail wrote, "We are well aware of the allegations made by ex-players and employees of Chivas USA. MLS has zero tolerance for discrimination or prejudice of any kind and have been deeply committed to diversity and fairness on our fields, in our stadiums and in our workplace. ... And although the allegations in this lawsuit raise serious issues, it would not be appropriate for us to say anything more while the litigation is ongoing" (Christopher Botta, Staff Writer).
A BAD LOOK FOR THE LEAGUE? In L.A., Kevin Baxter wrote one reason for Chivas USA's "steep decline is the decision" of Vergara to "tie the team more closely to Chivas of Guadalajara." The Mexican Chivas is "best known for having never used a non-Mexican player and Vergara has tried to turn [the] MLS team into a pipeline of talent for that team" (LATIMES.com, 7/24). Also in L.A., Phil Wallace wrote the piece "represented the most publicity that the team has received in years." It also "illustrated the sad state of affairs for MLS' most troubled franchise" (LAOBSERVED.com, 7/24). NBCSPORTS.com's Richard Farley wrote "beyond Chivas USA, who are obviously making this bed for themselves," the report was a "black eye" for MLS. As O'Brien "stood in a production studio, reading the league’s words in front of a televised league logo, you felt the helpless, hapless situation MLS has allowed itself to embrace." Given the scope of MLS in the "broader landscape, this still has the potential to blow over." Ten minutes on subscription cable "isn’t going to define this issue." However, if Chivas USA "continues to flounder, make mistakes, and doesn’t somehow correct course, HBO’s work will be linked to over and over again by people who need examples of Vergara’s misdeeds" (NBCSPORTS.com, 7/24).