SBD/March 15, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Galaxy Could Be In Hot Water With MLS Over Video Mocking Timbers' Player, Referee

The Galaxy went viral on Monday with a video mocking a Timbers' player diving during Sunday's game, and an MLS source said the league office is "going to address it" with the Galaxy, according to Grant Wahl of SI.com. The video was posted in response to Galaxy D Jelle Van Damme being sent off after Timbers MFs Diego Chara and David Guzman "appeared to dive in a succession of plays that wound up as yellow-card offenses." A Galaxy spokesperson said that the intent was to "put together a fun piece of content for social media purposes." Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson "emphasized that the Timbers did not complain to the league" (SI.com, 3/14). YAHOO SPORTS' Leander Schaerlaeckens wrote MLS is "sort of in a tough spot here," as anything the league does that "goes viral is hugely valuable and worth its weight in gold in our times." The exposure is even more valuable as MLS is "growing steadily in its following and cultural footprint but doesn’t break into the mainstream conversation very often." But what the tweet and video "ultimately amounted to was a team criticizing a decision by referee Baldomero Toledo by mocking an opponent," and MLS has "come down hard on coaches who have publicly called out refs." So when a team’s official social media account does it, it would "look weird if the league just let it slide." But "cracking down on tweets looks sort of petty as well, and it will inevitably put a crimp in future social media posts by teams" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/14).

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