San Jose Earthquakes Striker Alan Gordon Suspended 3 Games for Homophobic Slur
As reported by the team's official site, Gordon has been suspended three games for his use of "unacceptable and offensive language" toward opponent Will Johnson in Sunday's match:
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has suspended Gordon for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for using unacceptable and offensive language towards an opponent in the 60th minute of the game against the Portland Timbers on April 14.
Commissioner Garber also mandated that Gordon attend diversity and sensitivity training. This is in addition to the training that all MLS clubs attend at the beginning of each season.
After the suspension came down, the team also announced that Gordon would not appeal the decision made by MLS commissioner Don Garber (via Twitter):
Note: The Alan Gordon suspension came via the Commissioner. Alan will not appeal the decision.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 16, 2013
With just under 60 minutes of action completed on Sunday, Johnson and Gordon got tied up near midfield with the score knotted at zero. Trash talking ensued, and the cameras clearly caught Gordon use a phrase we've unfortunately seen used (Kobe Bryant comes to mind) in sports over the past few years when things get heated.
After the slur was used, you can also clearly see Johnson motioning that a three-game suspension was coming Gordon's way (via Deadspin). Warning: Video contains sensitive language and may be offensive to some viewers.
Johnson ended up getting the last laugh, hitting a beautiful free kick goal to give the Timbers the advantage in the 77th minute as San Jose was playing a man down.
As noted by Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Gordon will also be suspended an additional game for a red card in the match against Portland, ensuring he will miss San Jose's next four games:
#MLS suspends Earthquakes F Alan Gordon for 4 matches: 3 for "unacceptable and offensive language" and 1 for red card. Undisclosed fine too— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) April 16, 2013
Gordon issued an apology (via SJEarthquakes.com) for the six-letter slur on Monday:
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.
MLS has made it a point to stop this kind of behavior over the last few seasons, most recently with Seattle Sounders defender Marc Burch.
What's your take on the suspension?
Burch was the last player hit with a three-match suspension for a similar comment about Johnson in November 2012. Consequently, he was forced to miss Seattle's playoff match at the end of the season in addition to the first game of 2013.
Gordon is the latest poster boy for the idea that sexual orientation will not be a point of degradation in sports. Hopefully, his three-game suspension handed down straight from the commissioner has taught him a lesson he won't soon forget.
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