Phoenix-MLS, Code of Conduct for Fans

Phoenix Rising players stand for the National Anthem prior to kick off the match against LA GalaxyII at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex on Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Scottsdale, Ariz.(Sports360Az Photo/Edwin Rodriguez)

With the arrival of Didier Drogba it’s now just a matter of time before Phoenix gets an MLS franchise. Simply my opinion. With that as the backdrop, I think it’s time to talk about fan behavior and tie in the biggest MLS story over the last few weeks. Colorado Rapids and U.S. National goalkeeper Tim Howard was suspended for three games and fined for getting into it with fans during a match in Kansas City earlier this month. Howard yelled an expletive at a fan and reportedly touched a Sporting KC player on the arm after the match was complete.

Howard wrote on his Facebook page about the incident and punishment. I thought he made some good points about fan conduct.

Did you know that the MLS has a Fan Code of Conduct?
Fans are expected to be respectful to each other and to players, and are prohibited from engaging in disorderly behavior, including obscene or abusive language. You may roll your eyes at this, but I don’t.
One of the many reasons why I love soccer is the passion that fans show to the sport. Whether it’s World Cup, Copa America, Gold or even in a USL game in Phoenix. I see and hear people letting it all fly out.
We are trying to grow into a Major League Soccer franchise. The USL has been a fine way to have a toe in the water for the sport, but in a Pro Sports market(which we are), acting NOW as MLS fans is as important as the team put out on the pitch.

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Enforcing the MLS Fan Code of Conduct should be just as important to Rising FC NOW as any other part of the organization. I have not heard of any problems yet this season, but I know the last few years that there would be times that our broadcast crowd mic would pick up more than a few expletives directed at the opposing Keeper.

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The layout of the current pitch in the pop-up stadium lends the fans terrific access to heckle and jeer. That’s all well and good. I’d like to think by the time Phoenix gets an MLS franchise that Fan Code of Conduct doesn’t even need to be a point to address.

Media personality Brad Cesmat first rose to fame in Southern California with the launching of "The Mighty 690" all-sports radio station in the late 1980's and early 90's. Brad came to Arizona in 1993 to begin a 10-year run at KTAR Radio followed by nine years at KTVK-TV in Phoenix. Brad is the Founder/ CEO of Sports360AZ.com. His vision of multi platform content marketing through sports began in September of 2011. Cesmat has served on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army for the last 18 years. He and his wife Chris have four children.