At 8:17 p.m., the night before the Rocky Mountain Cup match between the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake, MLS sent out a news release announcing that Tim Howard has been suspended for the next three games for “foul language directed toward a fan during the Rapids’ match against Sporting Kansas City and for an altercation with a fan following the game.”
While this one was caught on TV:
There was the “f*ck your mother” incident that an upstanding Sporting Kansas City fan caught on video.
The Rapids very quickly sent out an official statement on the situation:
Was Howard wrong for getting baited by a fan and saying something he shouldn’t have? Yes. Does that warrant a three-game suspension? IMO, no, it does not. I’ve been told (by JasonMa) that it’s in line with other suspensions, such as cursing at a ballboy or using a homophobic slur; however, I disagree that this in line with those offenses. Another offense that got a three-game suspension: Nigel De Jong’s dangerous tackle on Darlington Nagbe last year. How are those two equal in the eyes of the Disciplinary Committee?
UPDATE: According to FourFourTwo, “MLS also has video of Howard in a physical confrontation with a fan in the tunnel at Children’s Mercy Park after the game. That security video, which was not released, apparently shows Howard grabbing a fan.” Which brings up questions about why there was a fan in the tunnel in the first place, but no, he should not have grabbed a fan. If this is was that is really about, then I concede.
The saving grace in all this is that Zac MacMath is our backup.
Do you think the punishment fits the crime? Are you concerned about the next three games considering the way things have been going for the Rapids?
UPDATE: The MLS Players Union has released a statement, questioning the security at Children’s Mercy Park. Read about it here.