Friday, May 30, 2008


Ben Burton, Chairman of Section 8 Chicago here. Rather than gloating about our 5-1 victory over the weekend, there are a couple of good causes I would like to discuss.

In case you haven't heard, there were some unfortunate incidents in Columbus earlier this week. You can see what I'm talking about here:

Oh wait, you can't. At least, not anymore. Perhaps it's a sign that the issue is getting swept under the rug to avoid bad publicity. The issue, in case you didn't know, is racism. That video used to include the audio of a Columbus fan hurling the "N Word" at a New England player. I hate New England as much as the next guy, but some of us involved in MLS don't think hurling racial epithets at opposing players is the right direction for our league to go.

A bunch of us in Chicago have been meeting over the past couple of days to discuss the issue and how we can move forward both locally and nationally. We have a few short term and long term ideas but I would just like to remind anyone reading this that if spewing racism is your idea of a good time, don't bother coming to a Chicago Fire game.

On to the better news in the soccer world: saving lives.

I would like to take a moment to plug the Nothing But Nets Campaign. Our very own Diego Gutierrez and his wife Ginna has worked with the Nothing But Nets campaign, raising money for malaria prevention in Africa. The organization purchases and delivers mosquito nets to children. This is, of course, a wonderful cause. Over one million children die from malaria every year and so far they've delivered over two million nets. It's a great start.

We here at Section 8 Chicago are starting our own campaign to help raise money in Diego's name. If you visit our STORE, we have set up two ways for people to contribute.

First, we're selling a Scarf and Flag combo. Normally $30, but now just...$30! The difference is that we will donate $10 for the cause for every package you purchase. Buy them for yourself, send them to your friends and family. Put them up in your favorite soccer pub so every time you go in there, you can be reminded that you saved someone's life.

If a scarf and flag isn't your thing, you could just donate some cash, purchasing a net and the cost of delivery is $10. If you don't want to donate through us, please visit the Nothing But Nets site and get more directly involved.

Having said all that, winning big in New York was a wonderful feeling. I have to gloat a little.


Anonymous kyle said...

Epitaph, noun: an inscription in memory of a dead person
Epithet, noun: a characterizing and often abisive word or prase ie. a racial epithet

Not the first time I've seen this mistake on this very Columbus incident.
Unfortunate that it happened here in the states, especially with all the focus on this very problem in European football. I'll forever associate Serbia with this kind of racial intolerance after UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying.

Saving lives is much better than spreading hate.

8:55 PM  

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