The chanting is not the problem

Inter Miami wins, says D.C. United player used racial slur

Associated Press

July 13, 2012 9:15 AM

Miami (AP) — The District of Columbia is home to one of MLS’s most interesting teams. The new club played in an open-air stadium for years before moving into a renovated, modern version last year that opened with a sellout crowd last week as United won the MLS Cup final.

The new stadium also will be the headquarters for the D.C. United brand across a wide swath of the team’s home territory. There’s more than a whiff of insider trading in this one.

United players can now be heard chanting during games, and they have been given a new motto — “We Own The Game” — that is also printed on a new MLS Cup trophy. The players, and coach Ben Olsen, are in no way pleased with this.

They aren’t alone in feeling this way. Olsen said Tuesday that he understands the reaction of the players and isn’t blaming them.

“It’s not my job to be like, ‘How dare you?’” Olsen said on a conference call with media. “How can you say that? This is bigger than football.”

The players have a point. No matter how successful United is, their success — or their success in general — is not the same as MLS or MLS Cup. That is true whether Olsen is happy with it or not.

The league says it is fully aware of the problem and that it expects the “We Own the Game” chant to stop in the short term but not permanently.

The problem, officials say, is not the chant. The problem is the culture of the team, a culture that refuses to acknowledge that the city of D.C. and its team are separate entities, that it doesn’t matter whether Olsen can find a different place to call a stadium.

The culture of the team is what is the problem, not the chant. It goes beyond the chant and extends to the entire team, even the players and coaches.

“This team is not separate from the city,” said David Turner,

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