July 20, 2009

Beckham vs. Galaxy fans

First off, I've never seen anything like this situation, especially in American soccer. I can't really remember anything on this level in other American sports either.

I finished reading Grant Wahl's excellent book over the weekend. After reading it, I can completely understand why Galaxy fans would be upset. They feel that this superstar put himself before the club and caused problems for their team.

However, I don't think Beckham is the only one to blame here. AEG, Lalas, Gullit, 19 Entertainment, Terry Byrne, and many others had their shame in screwing up the LA Galaxy over the last couple of years. Beckham is the prime target right now though.

That brings us to last night where Beckham was visibly upset by banners and chants coming from the LA Riot Squad section. I've never been a fan who likes to boo and pull against players on his team. What's the point, other than to bring attention to yourself? It reminds me of kids in middle school who pull against their own football team just because they want to be different.

Now, this case is a little different though. Last night's game was a friendly. But, it was a friendly that would not have happened without Beckham. With all of the hate right now, it's easy to forget some of the nice fringe benefits of having Beckham in your team.

People are now criticizing Beckham's reaction to the fans. He singled one out with words and gestures, and supposedly needed to be held back from going after him. He also shushed that section after delivering an assist on the tying goal. Can you blame the guy?

Fans need to realize that while they have the right to criticize, mock, boo, and say nasty things to players, that they also have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The player might not care for this behavior, might make rude gestures your way, might shush you. Any fan knows that they're not going to get anywhere by jumping on the field, so you can't really blame that one on Beckham.

For all of the public statements, Beckham has always been a driven professional who gets off on proving people wrong. He's now in another situation where he has to do this, let's see what's he got.

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