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Note to Gotham FC fans and our supporters.

Thoughts on Orlando vs Chicago:

Now, let me preface this by saying that I’ve played a lot of soccer. A lot. At all levels. I’m a physical ball winning number 8. I play hard and I tackle hard. I love a good hard tackle. But I’m also a clean player. I’ve played in a couple games against opponents who purposefully tried to injure me or other players of mine. I’ve also captained every team I played for. I would never, ever allow one of my players get out of hand and make cynical challenges that can cause injury to opponents.

That being said. There were not 1 or 2 but 4 or 5 challenges in the Orlando game that were cynical straight red card worthy. You can see gifs of the tackles on twitter @overgothampod pod or just go to Danielle Colaprico’s page @dannycolaprico and see some of them.

Why am I bringing this up? Because it is unacceptable at all levels. Two players left on crutches. Unnecessary, shoulder through the back of player in the air, not playing the ball and leaving your feet with studs above the ankle. All of those tackles endanger the safety of the player. This is a failure on all levels. On the players, the captains, the refs, the coaches, and the league. And also, us as fans.

I went over to Danielle’s page to show her support and I saw multiple comments telling Danielle she needs to toughen up. That it’s a contact sport and she should quit if she can’t handle a physical sport.

Look, I know that Cloud 9 and the rest of Gotham fandom are some of the best and most educated soccer fans out there. I also believe that the players on Gotham FC are not those types of players. I believe in our club and our Captain Zerboni to not let our players get out of hand. There are knuckleheads in every bunch and they don't reflect the whole. But it is up to the collective to show that those knuckleheads are not reflective of the collective.

I promise all of our listeners and fans out there. Ruby and I wouldn’t stand for this and would absolutely call our players and our culture out if this were the case on our end. We are only here to lift the sport up and we can’t accomplish that if we let stuff like this go or try to make excuses for it. I would be embarrassed if one our games devolved into what we saw during the Orlando game.

I also know that Gotham fans wouldn’t stand for it either. I believe in us. That’s not who we are. This is just another reason I love covering this team.

Let’s grow this sport together. Thanks for reading.

Gary Gibson

Oh, and whoever needs to hear this. Just because your foot touches the ball before cleaning out a player doesn’t make it a clean tackle. Thank you for coming to my TED talk!

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