If you've never heard of ExtraTime, MLS's official podcast (a thing where people pretend they're on the radio and then put it on the Internet), you're not alone. But writer for MLSsoccer.com and panelist for ExtraTime Simon Borg did all he could to change that at the end of Monday's edition.
"It's going to be a little unpopular to say this..." Borg prefaced during a conversation about relationships (about 59 minutes in -- yes, minutes) before sharing an opinion that has already proven to be more than a little unpopular. He continued (via Jezebel):
"It's fine if you're a female and you want to be a super-fan. Clearly go for it, that's your choice. But there is something to be said for how appealing that might be to the other sex. Having a woman that's such a fan, like painting your face, tuning in to every podcast. I don't know how many males would be into that.
"It's great that in Kansas City there are a lot of women in the stands, it's great, but for the guy who wants maybe a serious relationship... If you are following just casually, but if you're such a die-hard, I don't know, it comes a point that it is a bit of a [I don't want to say] turn-off..."
Borg's colleagues poked at his statements before laughing them off and trying to end the show as Borg had a moment of clarity. "The women are going to hate me. I apologize but...how many of you think the same way?" he asked. MLSsoccer.com editor-in-chief Greg Lalas then cut in and turned it back around on him by saying, "What you're saying is that it's a turn-off for you." Borg agreed. The show then ends with the guys asking for complaints about Borg's comments as he claims the majority of guys will agree with him, but just won't say it.
Except, the majority probably don't agree. As a guy and a fan myself, I certainly don't. After all, being with someone who gets excited about the same things you do is great and it's an easy way to avoid certain jealousies and arguments. But most importantly, who the hell cares about how appealing your passions are to certain members of the opposite sex (as long as they're legal and not psychotic obsessions)? That's not how people should define themselves, female or male. There's enough human beings on this planet with all different preferences to make that kind of dumb generalization from a guy on an official podcast to which you probably don't listen completely irrelevant and meaningless to your dating life.
So, MLS has its own version of Keys and Gray. Except instead of working for a third-party broadcaster, Borg works for the league itself, bringing them all the outrage and (no such thing as bad) publicity directly. Is this how modern sports leagues grow?
UPDATE: The Goat Parade's Alicia Ratterree has a female perspective on this.
UPDATE II: MLS has released an apology that says Borg will be suspended for seven days and all MLS employess will undergo "diversity and sensitivity training on an annual basis."