23 July 2012

I want to like the EPL

Photo by stevendpolo
I'm huge soccer fan; I only call it soccer and not football, because as an American calling it football will confuse a lot of people. Growing up I only knew of it as football--or fĂștbol. I liked it as a kid, but I didn't share the same passion I do now. I get chills listening to fans of other clubs sing their chants--even when I don't support that club. I also get teary-eyed watching my fellow fans of my clubs chants, and it's even worse rewatching my clubs score important goals. I can't watch Iniesta score the winning goal for the World Cup without having a tissue nearby.

I am an American and MLS is my favorite league. I go watch LA Galaxy play on many occasions, and the ultimate high I get from watching them win a match is indescribable. The disappointment I feel when they lose a match is also a new feeling. I feel like a parent knowing what my child is capable of.

So, I've turned choosing an EPL into a schoolwork. I've studied the players, fans, and history. The EPL turned sour to me with the accusations of racism. It goes beyond that when I learn the racism shown from the fans. Sadly the two clubs I had been deciding between are the ones that made headlines recently for their racist comments. I've been told not to take this to heart, because they are only accusations, but to me they matter. 

You will never EVER see MLS fans having racist chants or doing anything that suggests racism. I've been on social media websites where a fan of another club called Galaxy "GAYlaxy" and a SJ Earthquakes (LA Galaxy rival) fan called him out on it. This is what I love about this league. They don't just believe in tolerance but acceptance. It's really hard to look at a league like EPL and not cringe at them. EPL is the BEST league in the world they say, but I don't know if fans like those should be part of the best league in the world. How other fans let that happen?

I'll just keep watching EPL matches from a distance, because I fear waking up one day to be disappointed by the players in my club. Something I've never had to experience as a Galaxy fan.