New England Revolution Remove Supporters For 'Explicit' Chant

Some fans may have been arrested, but official details are still slow to emerge.

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Sons Of Ben 'Defend The Fort' With Minute Of Silence - Brotherly Game

Further proof that supporters groups are always happy to join forces against a common enemy came on Wednesday when the Philadelphia Union's Sons of Ben rallied to the defense of New England Revolution supporters. The Sons of Ben, while counting the Revolution as one of their bigger rivals, have been among the most vocal critics of actions taken against "The Fort" last weekend. The Brotherly Game details their most visible show of support (with video) for their fellow supporters:

As a show of solidarity for their fellow supporter groups in New England, the Sons of Ben decided to have a minute of silence during the twelfth minute of the Philadelphia Unions' goalless draw with Sporting Kansas City. Along with the silence were pieces of paper held up by many members of the River End reading "#DTF."

The situation in New England seems to stand in stark contrast to Philadelphia, where the Sons of Ben have been at the heart of the organization even before the Union officially existed. 

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New England Revolution Have Bigger Issues Than Swearing - RSL Soapbox

With attendance regularly hovering around 10,000 and losses piling up almost as fast as the team can schedule games, not a lot is going right with the New England Revolution. That they are now grabbing headlines for perceived mistreatment of some of their most loyal fans is hardly something they wanted. Just about every supporters group in MLS has done something to show support and from the looks of it some of them will even be making public displays this week.

RSL Soapbox, SB Nation's Real Salt Lake blog, knows all about teams struggling with how to deal with swearing supporters, and lists off several ways how this is all going pear-shaped for the Revolution. Among the most simple is just the general idea of making such a fuss over swearing:

1) Swearing happens - in life, at home, at sports, in schools, and the harsh reality is that while there will always be a few people who may be offended by it, there is simply no way to police every incident of it. Now I can agree that listening to a fan or group of fans swear for hours on end is boorish at best, and annoying at worse, but it clearly isn't something that should be handled with the tactics that appeared to have been used in New England.

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Problems In The Fort Harken Back To Bad Old Days Of MLS - Burgundy Wave

For many MLS observes, the most disappointing aspect of the whole situation with New England Revolution security removing supporters from The Fort is how much it reminds us of the bad old days of MLS. You know, back when the key demographics were so-called soccer moms and youth teams.

The Burgundy Wave, who witness much of that era first hand while supporting the Colorado Rapids through the years, is happy those days are now gone at Dick's Sporting Goods Park:

It all reminds me of the Rapids supporters and the problems between them and the Rapids FO that we saw for so many years, efforts that squelched our real supporters groups and killed any attempts at atmosphere we ever may have had at Invesco Field up until last year when the Terraces were finally put in. Although there was never anything as straight up sickening as this, bans from the stadium and even an arrest or two took place between security and the supporters at DSGP on occasion. To this day, things like streamers, smoke bombs and a lot of other things are banned and anything to be used in the terraces has to be 'checked in' so as to avoid any conflicts.

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Philadelphia Union's Sons Of Ben Plans To Show Support For The Fort - Brotherly Game

While details are still a bit hard to come by, New England Revolution supporters are having no problem rallying people to their side. Throughout MLS, other supporters groups are planning to planning to stand in solidarity, one way or another. In Philadelphia, the Sons of Ben are apparently organizing a pretty formal show of support, according to an article on Brotherly Game:

1. When the game clock reads 12:00, hold your #DTF card up/ tifo/two-pole up. We are going to fall into complete silence for 1 minute, as per the request of the Midnight Riders.

2. 'Support the Fort chant. Every goal kick, every time, every game.' We can start this for the entire league tonight. Every goal kick, every time, all game, all weekend we will chant, 'Support The Fort'.

3. If the STF chant turns into YSA chants, then the capos will stop leading and it will all fall apart.

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No One Wins 'The Fracas At The Fort' - The Bent Musket

We may never actually get to the bottom of what is now being called "The Fracas at the Fort," when New England Revolution security forcibly removed numerous supporters. But The Bent Musket, SB Nation's Revolution blog, did their best to at least talk to some people who were involved and summed it up this way:

The night ended with a nearly empty Fort. There are two confirmed arrests and 20 Gillette Stadium bans, with rumors of far more. Later in the match, several independent supporters tried to get up and lead the sparse remaining fans in some innocuous (and now nearly inaudible) but were yoked up and removed from the premises almost immediately.

From the sound of it, the supporters groups at least want to believe that what happened on Saturday was the result of overzealous security, and not so much at the direction of Revolution front office officials. That's certainly less than clear at this point. Either way, the supporters will likely protest by remaining silent, which they seem to know is the exact goal of some of these security forces. This doesn't seem likely to have a clear winner anytime soon.

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New England Revolution Remove Supporters For 'Explicit' Chant

The New England Revolution front office had fans in their supporters section -- The Fort -- removed, apparently for using the so-called (and, honestly, cliche) YSA chant that many groups use during goal kicks. The incident occurred during Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire and apparently involved coordination between the team, their security staff and the Foxborough Police Department. Exact details are still sketchy and are mostly reliant upon internet reports by fans and the supporters culture website The Drug Is Football.

The Revolution did respond via their Facebook page with this statement, which was actually a collection of three wall posts by Chief Operating Officer Brian Biello:

Unfortunately there was an issue last night in the fort which was a culmination of multiple weeks of complaints from many of our STH who do not sit in the fort. This was related to one particular chant which our supporters' liaison has spoken to the supporter group leaders about on multiple occasions this season. Our organization has been extremely supportive of the fort, giving them as much freedom as we can to support the team in their own way. However this one particular chant has been causing issues with our other STH for some time. Frankly I think it is sad that our supporters place so much priory on being able to yell one particular chant 10+ times a game with profanity that upsets many other people in the building. This is not about occasional swearing, or an eruption of passion it is about for some reason needing to swear in an organized, loud manner every time the opposing goaltender takes a goal kick.

We will be discussing the matter internally and with the supporters groups over the upcoming weeks, but make no mistake, the issue last night was about a member of the Revolution staff (our supporter's liaison who has worked with them for years) asking on behalf of the organization to once again stop using that chant. This was not a security issue. While some members of the supporters groups and fort tried to help the situation, others took this as an opportunity to escalate the situation. I will not get into an online debate with people who may or may not have been at the stadium last night, nor will I allow this to be presented as an example of how this organization doesn't care about our fans or our supporters. Again, we will be reaching our soon to the supporters groups to discuss last night and how to create a better atmosphere moving forward.

As for claims that we are somehow not treating our most loyal fans right I take great exception with that. Every one of our STHs show at least the same amount of loyalty and dedication to this team turning up week after week and year after year and our organization owes just as much service and response to them as we do to our STH in the fort.

Thank you all, and thank you for your continued support.

Go Revs Brian

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