The following is a post from Nash Drake.
My grandfather was a paratrooper in WWII. He dropped on D-Day, fought through the difficult-to-traverse French countryside, and made it back to his unit and eventually back to England. From there he was sent to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. As the war ended, he was sent to help provide support to an entirely new assignment. He had no idea what to expect when he walked into a concentration camp just a week after it had been liberated. What he witnessed there changed him forever. He refused to speak of it unless he had one scotch too many, and even then, the most he could do was cry and mumble to himself about how he couldn’t tell us about what he saw because he didn’t want us to feel the deep, overriding despair it had brought to him to witness the aftermath of the atrocities that had occurred to millions at the hands of the Nazis. He was adamant that no fascist should be allowed to live their life without being ridiculed, hassled, and forced back into the cracks and crevices that they hid in after being defeated. He passed away nearly a decade ago, but his blood runs through my veins, and what I am calling for is going to be in his voice as much as in mine.
The Iron Front symbol was created to make it clear that fascism was not welcome and that the bearers of it were committed to defending the rights of all humans. Human rights are not political and not up for debate. It’s that simple. MLS has decided to attempt to keep the Iron Front symbol from being flown in stadiums (including making that decision for NWSL) as it has always been, deeming it a political symbol. If they aren’t anti-fascist, they are fascist. Here it is, everyone, the time to decide how you would deal with fascism if you were staring it right in the face.
The things we are asking MLS for are not complicated and support the rest of the MLS code of conduct in regard to human rights and will mark our stadiums as safe spaces for all who wish to gather peacefully:
- Rescind the ban on flying the Iron Front symbol
- Remove the word “political” from the Fan Code of Conduct
- Work with international experts on human rights to craft language in the Fan Code of Conduct that reflects and supports radical inclusion and anti-discrimination
I will be writing letters, making calls, and taking part in any protests. I will not be spending money in the stadium in any way. I am asking you to join me in these actions.
We are the Riveters and the Timbers Army. We are radically inclusive. We stand against discrimination of any kind. We are on the side of human rights. We are the Iron Front.