Major League Soccer has suspended Seattle Sounder Marc Burch for calling an opponent a gay slur during his team's game last Thursday. While Burch issued an apology the next day, it wasn't enough for MLS. Burch said on Friday:
I apologize for my horrific choice of words last night during our match. This is something that is inconsistent with my family values and because of that I am both disappointed and embarrassed by my level of poor judgment. I take seriously my role as a leader in the community and this is completely regrettable and unacceptable. Character matters and I hope through hard work on and off the field to begin earning your respect and trust again.
MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a release:
Major League Soccer has a zero tolerance policy in response to this type of behavior from its players or staff. While I understand and believe that Mr. Burch is remorseful, Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Burch must also attend sensitivity and diversity training.
The suspension is exactly what is needed to stop this behavior. The NBA fines players $50k for using gay slurs. That does nothing. The only way to get through to players is to take away playing time. MLS suspended Houston's Colin Clark for the same amount at the beginning of the season. And whereas the NBA refused to suspend Kobe Bryant in the 2011 playoffs for calling a referee a faggot, MLS has suspended Burch for their playoff series against the Los Angeles Galaxy, and possibly the MLS Cup.
Hat tip to Queerty.
PHOTO: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE