Don Garber - January 2016

MLS Commissioner Don Garber took issue on Tuesday with New York Times Magazine article questioning the diversity of MLS supporters, and specifically Seattle's Emerald City Supporters group (ECS), calling the piece “poorly reported, factually incorrect and irresponsible” in remarks originally reported by SoundersFC.com.


Garber addressed the topic during a session with local media members at the GeekWire sports technology summit in Seattle.


“It was poorly reported, factually incorrect and irresponsible, with a lack of any research whatsoever,” Garber said. “Frankly, something like this should never see the light of day.


“This was not some blog. This was the New York Times. They know better,” he added. “This is just not representative of good journalism.”


Noting that 30 percent of the league’s fan base is Hispanic, Garber also pointed out that MLS is the only North American sports league with an exclusive prime-time television deal with a Spanish-language network [Univision]. He highlighted the inclusive nature of the ECS and added that the reporter conducted no interviews with front-office officials or players from the Sounders or MLS.


“It didn’t in any way remotely reflect the supporters culture in our league, or the demographics of our supporters,” Garber said. “I was absolutely astounded by the article.”