Tim Howard Responds to Suspension from Altercation with Sporting Kansas City Fan

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2017

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 24:  Tim Howard #1 of United States prior to the World Cup Qualifier match between the United States and Honduras at Avaya Stadium on March 24, 2017 in San Jose, California.  The United States won the match 6-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard apologized for his comments directed toward a Sporting Kansas City supporter that resulted in a three-game suspension from Major League Soccer, but he lamented the lack of attention paid to the opposing fan's "antagonistic behavior" and the "negligent security."

The longtime United States international posted a statement on his official Facebook page Friday to provide more clarity about his stance on the incident:

We all want passionate fans but there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. It is not ok for an apparently drunk fan to get inches away from an athlete's face and yell obscenities at them. While I should have controlled my reaction, I want to make it clear that I have never been put into a situation like that until Kansas City. I'm not a security expert, so don't know the details of how a fan could get so close, but it was not the norm and not right.

Although Howard was unhappy with the way information about the situation was presented in announcing the three-match ban, the keeper added he regretted "my reaction and understand the need to take action" in the Facebook post.

The official MLS release, which noted the punishment included a undisclosed fine, had a statement from the Rapids:

Tim Howard made an unfortunate and regrettable mistake for which he is being disciplined by MLS. While this is out of character for Tim, we do not condone these actions. We accept the league's decision and look forward to moving past this. The incidents that took place during our match at Sporting Kansas City last weekend do not represent the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club or Tim's character and beliefs, on and off the pitch.

Howard used foul language in a verbal exchange with a fan during the emotional 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas and then got into an altercation after the April 9 fixture.

The 38-year-old veteran, who was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2001 and played more than a decade in the English Premier League with Manchester United and Everton, missed the club's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake last week and will remain sidelined for matches with Minnesota United and Orlando City.

 

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