LA Story: Humor, Soccer, and “Racism”

I started, wrote, and re-wrote a blurb on this for yesterday’s Daily Sweeper; it’s possible six or so people read it before I yanked it.  The post dealt with a touchy subject: the intersection of fan humor and race/ethnicity.  By the time I finished, though, I wound up with a blurb – not nearly enough to address so contentious an issue.  But, big and interesting as the subject is, I didn’t want to duck it.  So, I’m trying again here.

To start at the beginning, Dan Loney wrote a frustrated post in response to a preview written ahead of last night’s SuperClasico by a reporter named Billy Witz, who writes for the Long Beach Press-Telegram.  As part of an attempt to describe the heightened tension surrounding the SuperClasico, Witz reported an incident from the previous “LA derby” in which the Riot Squad, an LA Galaxy supporters group, wore sombreros and hired a mariachi band, a bit of fan theater that Witz reports left some of Chivas USA’s Mexican nationals feeling “mocked” and “irate.”  Loney responded with subscription-canceling ire growing from his sense that he’d been branded a racist.  You can best get their sides by reading Loney’s post, though the original article forms the primary source material.

But the whole thing got me thinking…and that leads me to a story: Continue reading