Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Is Heard May Be in Your Heart

I still don't really know what Davy Arnaud said. I wasn't there and the video isn't totally clear. If Rolfe was indeed spit on, (as Chris Pontius himself attests) Arnaud may have been issuing a warning. 

What I do know is this - what we perceive is partly the result of what we've gone through in the past. Our filter is a lot of what we see. 

Here's the first tweet I got last night. 

The next day, I figured that somebody had to have more info, so I asked about it. 
So I retweeted.

A DC United player verified one aspect of the debate.  

Meanwhile, I was fielding criticism of my own.  

Others still weren't sure what was said.  

The video got made into a Vine.  

I started to wonder if the racism could be in the eye of the beholder.  

Others still aren't sure. The truth is still out there.  

Meanwhile, here's the story on the game I did watch and write on.  

** Update - I got a call from DC United's communications director about my tweets. Apparently the team is looking through video to try to prove the spitting incident by an Alajuela player. Multiple DC players verified to him that it did happen, even if the cameras missed it. He was concerned that my tweeting was putting Arnaud in an unfairly bad light and wanted to remind me to reach out to the team if I have questions like this one in the future. 

Honestly, I would have contacted the team if I had gone into this as a story, doing research, but I don't cover MLS as a regular beat any more. Instead, I was reaching out on Twitter to MLS reporters in general, wondering if any followed up on the controversy. I don't regret that, because it opened up some interesting perspectives and I think all the people involved were in general fair about it. Still, it reminded me that as a reporter, even idle questions about stuff on Twitter has ramifications. People will treat what I tweet differently than just a random account, even if it's not directly connected to anything I'm reporting. I guess my point is that sometimes even my limited influence has some effect. I have to stay aware of that.

Finally, though, it's still DC United's version of events being told here in regards to the video. I was contacted by another reporter who is reaching out to Alajuelense. If I get an update on that end, I'll include it here as well.


John Leitzke said...

Thanks for discussion on difficult subject. Unfortunately, remarks with racial overtones are exchanged frequently on the field between opponents, teammates & friends. And I'm sure all the Latino fans of DC United (and they are legion) would defend comments by Arnaud if they saw any spitting. But we fans, coaches (and when we are playing) really have to control ourselves and to acknowledge unsportsmanlike behavior anywhere in sports. (or anywhere in life). By ourselves and by our favorite players. There may be plenty of good reasons, but there is never any excuse.

DC United Fan - John Leitzke - (@leitzkejs)

A.C. said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree that in the heat of the game, even players who are normally polite and generally considerate may say stuff they wouldn't otherwise, but as the advert says, "Don't cross the line" There shouldn't be any excuse for racial abuse.