UPDATE: Sorry for the delay. MLSsoccer.com has issued a statement wherein Simon Borg was suspended for 7 days and will be required to attend "sensitivity training." What do you guys think? Fair or cop out?
We've already covered this a bit when we quoted and linked to our fellow SB Nation colleague, Alicia Ratterree, and her editorial on the whole Simon Borg fiasco, but I really, really wanted to add my two cents.
In a new relatively young league that trends toward youth, the last thing that MLS needs is an MLSsoccer.com editor who doesn't seem to understand the importance of the "superfan," female or otherwise.
Here was his exact quote from the ExtraTime podcast, care of Jezebel:
It's fine if you're a female and you want to be a super-fan. Clearly go for it, that's your choice. But there is something to be said for how appealing that might be to the other sex. Having a woman that's such a fan, like painting your face, tuning in to every podcast. I don't know how many males would be into that.
It's great that in Kansas City there are a lot of women in the stands, it's great, but for the guy who wants maybe a serious relationship... If you are following just casually, but if you're such a die-hard, I don't know, it comes a point that it is a bit of a turn-off.
It occurred at about the 59:00 minute mark of the latest podcast, but don't bother checking yourself because it's already been edited out.
Obviously, I am not female, so my perspective is a bit different. Still, I did successfully convert my girlfriend into being what I would consider a huge fan of the Portland Timbers, the US Men's and Women's National Teams and (don't hate me for this) Landon Donovan due to his World Cup 2010 heroics. To this day she refuses to root against him even when the Timbers play against the LA Galaxy... it's infuriating!
Regardless, she is a hugely important demographic for Major League Soccer, and, quite frankly, so is ANY fan who is willing to pay for merchandise, contribute to TV/MLS Live ratings, and otherwise talk about the league, teams and sport in a nation where it can still be considered taboo to do so in some places. So it's for this reason that Simon Borg should be canned from his job at MLSsoccer.com.
The main problem here isn't so much that he said what he said. Don't get me wrong... he's a douche. But there are guys like him everywhere, regardless of the city, sport, etc. The problem is that he's the senior editor for MLSsoccer.com and when he speaks or writes about something like this, he's speaking for the league which includes the Portland Timbers. As such, he needs to go, plain and simple.
For those who wish to add their voices to this, I recommend emailing MLSsoccer's Editor-in-Chief, Greg Lalas at: Greg.Lalas@MLSsoccer.com. I'll be emailing him today.