Attendees of US soccer match stage silent protest against league's ban of political displays
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Attendees of a Major League Soccer (MLS) match Friday between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers went silent for more than 30 minutes in protest over the league’s recent ban of political signs.

The groups of supporters for both teams were particularly angered by the fact they can no longer have signs featuring the Iron Front logo, a symbol originally used by an anti-Nazi organization that is meant to represent an opposition to facism, according to The Washington Post.

The attendees went silent for the first 33 minutes of the match, a reference to the Nazi regime banning the Iron Front symbol in 1933.

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Following the silent protest, groups of supporters from both teams broke out into chants and waving flags with the Iron Front symbol could be seen.

The MLS reportedly changed its Fan Code of Conduct in March before the start of the 2019 season to include the Iron Front flag as a political symbol, meaning it would be banned.

In a statement posted on Twitter by the supporter groups before the match, they urged the MLS to remove the word “political from its fan code of conduct as it is inherently arbitrary,” in addition to rescinding its ban on flags or signs featuring the Iron Front flag.

Lastly, the groups called on the MLS to 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.”


MLS President Mark Abbott told Yahoo Sports that the decision to ban all political signage was done in accordance with making sure matches are enjoyable for all fans.

“The prohibition on political signage is in place to support the overwhelming majority of MLS fans who come to our stadiums to enjoy a great soccer game,” Abbott said.

The Hill has reached out to the MLS for comment.