By IVES GALARCEP
Alan Gordon knew it almost immediately after he said it. You could see the look on his face as he came to the realization that he had joined an unfortunate list of MLS players to cross the line and use a gay slur during a match.
With national TV cameras trained on him, Gordon aimed a gay slur at Portland Timbers captain Will Johnson. When Johnson raised three fingers and let Gordon know he probably just cost himself a three-game suspension, Gordon grimaced in acknowledgement of the mistake he just made.
Gordon went on to be issued a red card later in the match after an errant elbow left Mikael Silvestre bloodied, but it was Gordon’s slur, not the red card, that drew the headlines after the match.
Gordon responded after the match by issuing an apology about his poor choice of words:
“I sincerely apologize for what I said in our game tonight. Although I said it in the heat of the moment, that language has no place in our game. That is not my character, but there is still no excuse for saying what I said. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
The apology isn’t likely to keep Gordon from being hit with a suspension, which is how MLS responded when Colin Clark and Mark Burch both were punished last year after saying the same gay slur (coincidentally enough, Burch was suspended after also aiming the same slur at Will Johnson). The question now is whether MLS will take a step to increase the length of suspension in an effort to send a stronger message that such language, and behavior is unacceptable.
As it stands, if Gordon does get slapped with a three-game ban for the gay slur, that coupled with his red card suspension could sideline him for a month. That’s a long time for him to think about how he crossed the line.
What do you think of the incident? Feel MLS should increase the suspension, or is three games a fitting punishment?
Share your thoughts below.