Charlie Davies has been fined $1,000 by MLS for his dive that led to the game-tying penalty against Real Salt Lake last Sunday. The league's release said Davies' action put the game in "disrepute." The fine is believed to be the first in league history for diving and marks a distinct change in course.
"Moving forward, all instances of behavior that serves to deceive and that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including a fine, suspension or both," MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez said in the league release.
Rodriguez said that during the offseason, players and coaches had expressed a desire to cut down on this kind of embellishment. That information was included in the league's points of emphasis.
The fine, to say nothing for the promise of stiffer punishment, takes the league down a relatively uncharted path. On one hand, it's refreshing that the league is interested in cutting down on this kind of deceptive behavior, but where this goes and stops is entirely unknown. Will the league start handing out fines on dives that don't result in penalties? Will the league fine players for making a soft foul look harder? It would appear a Pandora's Box has been opened.