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TFC fans facing ban after vulgar comment on live broadcast

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Photo by Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

An attempt to go viral via the rehashing of an internet meme looks like it will cost some TFC fans the privilege of watching their team in action, and has cost at least one of them his job.

The Toronto Star reported Wednesday that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, TFC’s owner, is reviewing video of an incident following Sunday’s game against the Houston Dynamo.

During a live broadcast featuring reporter Shauna Hunt, a group of TFC fans heckled the reporter with vulgar comments, prompting a verbal confrontation between the two parties.

As a result, MLSE are reviewing video of the incident. One of the offenders has already lost his job as a result, while those involved are also facing a ban from all of MLSE’s facilities, including BMO Field.

“The length of the ban is to be determined,” said MLSE spokesperson Dave Haggith, “but it will be a minimum of one year.”

In addition, MLSE released a statement addressing the incident on Tuesday via Twitter.

“We’re appalled that this trend of disrespectful behavior would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium,” MLSE said. “We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do they will be banned from all of our facilities. Moving forward, we will also work with local television outlets to provide extra security support to female reporters during live hits at any of our games.

“Our organization is committed to an environment where everyone can feel safe and included and discrimination or intolerance of any kind will be met with a swift and serious response. We’re thankful to our vast majority of fans for standing up against such sexist behaviour and working with us to prevent it in the future.”

Have a look at the incident in the censored video below:

Comments

    • Because, of course, all TFC fans act in an identical fashion. I hope SBI bans comments from people named Chris. People named Chris are obtuse!

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    • It’s not Toronto specifically, but Canadiens. They’re just so boorish and rude. Unlike us civilized Americans. I’m *so* embarrassed when traveling and people assume I’m Canadian!

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  1. Dave,

    I get what you are saying, but two things:
    1) These guys are not that young. It’s not like they are 18 yrs old. These guys are easily in the 27-33 yr old range. The dude got fired from his high paying (107,000/yr) public sector job. You do not make that much money in the PUBLIC SECTOR as some 22 yr old kid.

    2) Although, I would not have fired him, but I have no problem with the company doing so. These guys displayed incredibly poor judgment. You can do whatever you want to do in your private life. HOWEVER, should you decide to go on television to PUBLICLY display your stupidity, you deserve what you get. He decided to mass broadcast idiotic behavior (even after his friends walked away). This is not someone who got taped surreptitiously. They all knew this was live and kept talking. Even when I was drunk in my younger years, I always avoided video cameras.

    I would have done what MLSE did and ban them for all home games for 1 year. They have to manage the public perception of their product as well ensure a comfortable work environment for anyone they invite to work at their grounds. Free speech protection is only applied to actions of the government NOT private companies (at least according to US law) in public places (with a few exceptions in terms of words and location). However, that is US, I don’t know about Canada. Each country places different restrictions.

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  2. Dave, with you in some regards but they aren’t young. They were professionals. It is interesting that ethic topics are being measured with greater wisdom by corporations than public opinion or govt. it’s an interesting shift … Gay marriage and the issue in Indiana where expectations of mature action is viewed by the corporation vs these guys of govts inability to think feel or sense .

    This may not be the forum… But I find it interesting…

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  3. What they said was highly inappropriate and I have no problem with the reporter confronting them. However I dont agree with anyone losing their jobs or getting a lifetime ban. Thats too harsh. Of course their company is offended and needs to fire them while the company is dumping toxins into our water and getting us sick. Has anyone been young, drunk and done something stupid? Would you like to be videotaped and fired for it?

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  4. I’d lay odds dude in sunglasses is the one who got fired. he makes the extra effort to be obnoxious and make doubly sure he’s recognized by taking off his sunglasses and continuing the brilliant discourse. hah- what asshats!

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    • Shawn Simeos was the one fired, he’s the one in the arsenal jersey i believe. i’ve read that he had to shut his Facebook page down due to abuse or whatever. haha.

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      • I’m not sure why you find abuse funny. Good for the reporter to confront this stupid behavior exhibited by some immature people but Shawn losing his job seems excessive and will surely end in a lawsuit.

  5. One of those “trending” things stupid people do in order to get their 5 seconds of fame. Apparently, “bros” find it funny.

    I weep for the future.

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  6. Can someone provide more detail on the background of this story? It is really difficult to understand based on this article and video. Is this something happening all over? Is it this particular reporter?

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  7. Lmao I came across this on my own a few hours ago…I’d never even heard of the FHRITP vids until this one. I’m pretty glad she stuck it to that guy, but less glad to see that he wasn’t the only moron out there vociferous (and drunk) enough to make an ass of himself.

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  8. I get that those guys are idiots… but did he have to lose his job?
    Does that have to be the punishment for everything like this? I wouldn’t want to work with him. And depending on his position, maybe it’s a big deal. But it seems a bit over the top. I’d rather have him complete sensitivity training and have to publicly apologize to the anchor.
    Maybe also have him stand outside TFC next to a video being shown of his behavior. And allow people to publicly shame him or something like that.
    Unless the guy who lost his job is a TFC employee or was working at the stadium at the time or something like that. In that case, he should lose his job AND also face the above sanctions.

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  9. “Moving forward, we will also work with local television outlets to provide extra security support to female reporters during live hits at any of our games”
    So, females need extra security while at BMO?
    Stay classy MLS.

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    • That’s what I don’t get. This is not a meme because the reporter is female. It’s a meme because it’s an extremely vulgar and offensive thing to say on live TV. If MLSE wants to stop it from happening, they need to provide extra security for all TV reporters. The meme isn’t limited to female TV reporters.

      Reply
    • Rob,

      I wonder how common a problem this actually is in MLS. Honestly, I don’t know if this is just a BMO problem, a TO problem or maybe it’s just a “we need to grow the hell up and ot drink so much liquor” problem.

      I’m really glad that MLSE is trying to do something about it.

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    • This is not FIFA’s job. This is up to the clubs, the federations, the local authorities, the stadium owner, the fans etc…. FIFA’s job is not to police every stadium in every country. I can’t almost see the over the top reaction if FIFA ever bans a stadium in the US for any reason.

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      • I don’t think CPTKevin meant that exactly. Well, I don’t know what he meant but let me agree with him and explain in more detail:
        FIFA states that one of its goals is to stamp out racism in the game. This, along with other similar issues (sexism would be another) are certainly in FIFA’s purview. And if they are serious about this, they should set a standard set of rules and actions as a result of individuals demonstrating bad behavior. While Sepp himself may not be banning individuals, FIFA could certainly give guidelines to clubs on how to investigate, what actions to take, and – most importantly – hold clubs accountable when these things happen.

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