Featured / Opinion

Chick-fil-A-gate: Just sayin’…

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

By now you’re aware of the Philadelphia Union’s chicken problem—specifically, its gay chicken problem.

If not, let me fill you in briefly.

The good folks at the Front Office have decided, in their infinite wisdom and careful public relations planning, to maintain a partnership with the good folks at Chick-fil-A who, in their infinite piety and careful public relations planning, just plain don’t like the queers.  Some fans, specifically those who value the right to be filled in (however briefly) by the partner of their choosing, have cried fowl.*

This follows last year’s brouhaha over comments that Chick-fil-A’s top brass let slip to the press. CEO Dan Cathy claimed that those in support of same-sex marriage were “inviting God’s judgment,” which, based on my understanding of the Old Testament, is a bad thing involving plagues, insects, and the fact that no one wants God’s judgment at their table during the reception.

Of course, Chick-fil-A’s fundamentalist underpinnings, including their donations to anti-gay activist groups, were well known to anyone who followed the relationship between gay rights and chicken long before the media caught hold. (I haven’t eaten there in about 5 years for that exact reason.)

Nonetheless, the proverbial shit hit the fan. Rival protests broke out, with liberals organizing public gay make-out sessions and conservatives engaging in mass consumption of fried foods, showing the world how passive resistance can honor the memory of Gandhi and King without the need to really change one’s plans for the day.

Fast forward to the present.

We fans have been getting emails from the U touting Chick-fil-A giveaways and “Family 4 Pack” deals, which include sideline tickets and vouchers for the divinely approved meals. Fans can also vie for the title of “Family of the Game,” a moniker meant to reflect the corporation’s devotion to family, or at least to using that word as often as they do narrowly.

The online backlash has been brutal. Facebook posts from the U were flooded with protestations from incensed gay rights advocates faster than other incensed gay rights advocates could “Like” them. The FO was presumably bombarded with emails and calls, leading to an official statement from Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz himself, who was very careful not to say anything meaningful. In it, he hails the Union’s commitment to a vague inclusiveness that honors all races, religions, “beliefs,” and “choices” without going as far as mentioning sexual orientation (unless of course, he’s implying that’s a choice). A finer treading of the line between any two positions has never been seen.

Gay-friendly fans who weren’t satisfied by this took matters into their own hands, demanding a complete cutoff from the evangeli-chicken. The online campaign continued. The folks at Gay4soccer have proposed designing cards bearing an anti-CFA message for fans to hand to stadium employees. The Sons of Ben, who despise racial and homophobic slurs almost as much as they love slurs in general, put the cherry on the gay wedding cake, offering a mid-game tribute to freshly out-of-the-closet former MLS player Robbie Rogers.

As is the case in any controversy, a strong contingent emerged on the “Who Gives a Shit?” side, begging for matters of politics and religion to be kept far from PPL. It’s got nothing to do with soccer, they say, and the whole ugly issue is an excuse for the always outraged to stay outraged. What’s next? Does Dollar Dog Night support cruel factory farm practices? Have child laborers in Indonesia stitched the PPL promotional towels? Does every vendor in the park have to pass the field morality test to do business? Stand on one leg and recite the 14th amendment, sir; now let’s see if you can walk the line between freedom and sensitivity, one foot in front of the other.

I’m sorry, but…fuck that. As convenient as it would be to throw on the blinders and dismiss it all as a non-issue, for my season ticket money, this is a fight worth having. I’d urge any fan who believes in equality not to mistake laziness for nonchalance, or allow apathy to win the day for the sake of being above it all. Not opposing something wrong is almost as bad as supporting it; in the 1930’s, the Vatican signed a live-and-let-live deal between the Catholic Church and the Third Reich, long before the latter’s true intentions were clear. Look how that turned out.** Chick-fil-A goes out of its way to make people think that gay folks are beneath the rest of us. Every dollar a Union fan spends on their admittedly delicious food helps with that.

As for excessive PC overload, not fighting every battle is no excuse to fight none. I don’t like the Big Beer Industry, but just because I can’t stop Miller and Anheiser-Busch InBev from assaulting Philadelphian taste buds every game doesn’t mean I can’t raise a cry against intolerance when it’s clear it’ll be heard.

For their part, the Union claims that they are working on a “special night” for the LGBT community. That sounds nice and would be laudable, but in the end an attempt to offset bigotry with inclusiveness is a PR move, not a rejection of what’s very clearly wrong.

As fans of the team we love (and of a front office that tends to do very well by us), we should add our voices to those that would urge the U to have a zero tolerance policy for sponsors that make it their business to hate. No matter how succulent and mouthwatering that hate may be.

…just sayin’.

*PSP would like to remind readers that they are in no way responsible for the quality of Conor O’Grady’s puns.

**PSP would like to remind readers that they are in no way responsible for the hyperbole of Conor O’Grady’s analogies.

148 Comments

  1. Beautifully written C O’G, before this turns into a whole platform here in the comment section, there’s the right thing to do. No one has any idea what goes on in anyone’s bedrooms (except Kim Kardashian and that’s only because she emade a tape and sold it) and seriously, who cares what goes on in anyone’s bedroom, these chicken weirdos are MAKING it a situation. I too have stayed away from their waffle fries and glorious cole slaw and wish WENDYS was the place who did that, I can stay away from those square burgers, those are freaky. Do the right thing Union.

  2. It’s a non-issue. Drop it. Stop making everything a fucking campaign for political correctness and your own damn agenda. Seriously.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Astounding sensitivity

      • I’ll cry a river for you tonight so you feel better about yourself in the morning. Will that make you feel better? Is that sensitive enough for you?

      • Only if you will kiss me gently and look me in the eyes and say you love me.

      • Wouldn’t surprise me that half the people here want that so they can look themselves in the mirror in the morning and feel good about themselves. The pussyfication of America is alive and well.

      • frankswild says:

        nice

      • really. huh. wow aren’t the tough guy.

      • Have you noticed that the paragons of manliness and non pussyfacation are always the biggest whiners ans complainers whenever they feel threatened?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Will you row with me upon that River? Perhaps we can bring a delicious lunch, consisting of a breaded chicken product packed full of sodium and narrow-minded views. We can recite sonnets about how we are superior to all whom are different and bask in the freedom to cast judgements at will. Our souls will live on together in harmony, under God’s watchful eye…and chicken.

    • frankswild says:

      What does political correctness mean? Was the campaign to repeal anti-miscegenation laws an overly sensitive politically correct agenda or was it the refusal to accept unconstitutional discrimination that affects people’s lives in a very real way?

      • Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent.

        This article is taking the whole partnership between a fast food company and the Union to sell tickets to a place it doesn’t need to go, and rambles on about something that happened over a year ago. It’s a chicken sandwich for christ’s sake. Stop making something out of nothing (e.g. excessive extent).
        Comprende? Or do I need to dumb it down even further for you?

      • yea dumb it down a little more. I am not quite grasping how holding someone accountable for their actions is a bad thing. (Many conservatives believe this is a VERY IMPORTANT THING for other peoples problems)

      • lulz. you’ve dumbed it down plenty.

      • frankswild says:

        I don’t know why you feel the need to be condescending and jerky. I know what political correctness is supposed to mean; I was trying to make the point that being critical of an organization that promotes discrimination is not an example of oversensitivity or political correctness.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        Dean, The bibliographically correct thing to do is provide a link or otherwise acknowledge your sources. At the very least, put the definition you lifted from Wikipedia in quotes.

      • Speaking of dumbing it down cite your sources on the definition of political correctness. CLEARLY not you who wrote that.

  3. And i, for one, am GLAD you are on my side, Conor! 😀

  4. You are so right. Conservative Christians or people who support man-woman marriage/family should be boxed out from anything to do with anything is this country. BIGOTS! Let’s take away their freedom of expression and freedom of religion because we don’t agree!!

    Makes complete sense.

    • frankswild says:

      Hyperbole and mischaracterizing the opposition to anti-gay legislation is not an argument and it is really dishonest. I don’t know anyone who is against “man-woman marriage/family” and it is really dishonest to imply that just because someone thinks that it should be illegal to discriminate against gay couples that they somehow are against heterosexual couples.

    • Ok Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from consequences. Nobody put a gag on Chik-Fil-A. Ever. Most people who make the freedom of speech argument believe that their freedom of speech trumps the freedom of speech of everyone else. In sure they do not believe that there should be consequences for their actions. No body has stopped the owners of Chik-Fil-A from making donations, Nor has anyone stopped people from protesting, blogging, boycotting or any action to get the word out for actions they find reprehensible.

    • And as far as boxed out? Can Christians Marry? Can they get spousal benefits? Can they get death benifits? Can they visit their sick partners dying in the hospital or are they denied because they aren’t immediate family?
      Can they take 12 weeks off under the family medical leave act when their partner is sick?
      The right to inheritance? the right to live your life in peace without bothering anyone?

      You can? good. most Gays and Lesbians can’t. A little perspective please.

      I think your indignation at being boxed out is a little hollow.

  5. I understand the passion of your plea for “equality” but attacking a religious company like Chick-fil-a for not for not agreeing with your “views” is more akin to Nazi Germany than anything else I have read. I believe in the Right of Religious Freedom as well as your Right to Freedom of Speech. What I can’t go along with is attacks on people’s religious beliefs that border on censorship or boycott their products. Imposing your views that Gays should be married in a Church is not going to win over Religious people. Sorry, it won’t. Now of you want to talk about civil unions or getting married by a Justice of the Peace…no problem in my book and I fully support it. Attacking a company that doesn’t believe in Gay Marriage being imposed on Religion/churches will not fly with those religious people. It’s a losing argument in my book, and there are better ways to address it, like I said with Civil Unions. I wouldn’t want loved ones prevented from seeing sick or dying spouses in the hospital. This is a view by the majority of people in the country, if you pay attention to Gallup and the other major polling firms (you probably don’t). But attacking the religious beliefs of that companies owners, it is just wrong and a waste of time.
    Plus their Chicken sandwiches are the BOMB. Your crazy for not eating there.

    • 1. No one has ever seriously suggesting imposing gay marriage on churches or temples of any kind. The debate is over legal marriage, not marriage in the eyes of whichever god.
      2. They are the BOMB and I miss them every day.

    • frankswild says:

      I have never heard anyone advocate for forcing any church to conduct a gay marriage. I don’t think anyone is advocating for forcing a church to perform any marriage ceremony that they don’t want to perform, gay or straight. That has nothing to do with banning gay marriage within our state and government institutions. The anti-gay organizations that lobby the government try to pass laws that discriminate against gay people when it comes to being married in the eyes of the state. It has nothing to do with forcing any church to do anything.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

      Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies[1][2]) is an observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

      Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions,[4] the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches.[5]

      In 2012, “Godwin’s Law” became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.[6]

      To be fair this got Goodwin’d pretty quick

    • oh… my fucking god. Did this guy just say that speaking out against a company that is anti-gay marriage is akin to Nazi Germany? You fucking twat. These dumbass conservatives/Republicans think everything they don’t like is akin to Nazi Germany. Go hang yourself.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Dial it down. Thank you. We recognize this is a controversial topic. You can talk as much as you want about the substance of this, but if you get nasty like this, your comments won’t be welcome on the site. Thank you. –PSP

        Note to other readers: Please don’t bother responding to this. Take the high road. Stick to the substance of the discussion. Thank you.

    • And just so you know the Episcopal Church has been doing same sex marriages in states that has approved them, so not all religious groups feel the same way, as not all non religious people feel the same way, if you feel so strongly about supporting chick-fill a on this stance write a well thought out article to support your ideas to try and convince people to your side of the argument, that’s freedom of speech, not yelling at each other like each side are obvious retards because they don’t agree with you

    • ‘oh it’s cool, i don’t have any personal investment in the issue, but that one guy says its ok’

      fuck chik-fil-a, fuck their CEO, and fuck the union FO if they can’t figure this shit out.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        It’s actually kind of a political minefield. On one hand, you have a wealthy sponsor for a club not exactly flush with cash. On the other, you have a political controversy that was briefly the center of a (cable TV) media storm. If the Union can’t figure out how to navigate this sort of minefield, they wouldn’t be the first.

      • the way to navigate it is to not wander into the minefield in the first place. anyone who saw/read/heard the news last year could have told them it was going to be an issue. if they don’t care, then they’ll shortly need to be navigating that minefield without groups of fans. if they wanna show they’re inclusive in some way beyond the occasional lips service, they need to step up and take concrete actions to show that inclusivity and that should start with dropping this promotion.

    • CFA tried to cover its butt with some step-in-the-right-direction measures, but the money still flows into Cathy’s pockets and on to the same groups. This has been covered extensively, which you might have realized given some….research.

  6. Well-written article. I totally respect the rights of anyone who feels they need to protest Chik-fil-A’s involvement with the Union. But please respect my right not to join in your outrage without calling me lazy and apathetic. Thanks.

    • I hear what you are saying but I think you are using the term right incorrectly.

    • shut up.

    • oh. and please respect my right to tell you to shut up for making such a stupid comment.

    • and also please respect my right to call your comment stupid.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Dial it down please. Further comments like the ones you’ve made in the last 10 minutes will result in you being banned from making comments. –PSP

      • Yep, you’ve got it. Look, y’all do what you need to do about Chick-fil-a. Me, I’m going to continue to not eat there (because I just don’t like it), but I’m going to save the vitriol and outrage for the guys at PPL Park wearing the wrong color jersey.

  7. This is the same FO that decided it was ok to have our team uniform branded with “Bimbo”. To help us get over it, they gave us speech lessons and free bread.

    • I’m with the FO on that one. False cognates aren’t offensive, just coincidental.

      • It might be a false cognate, but it wasn’t an overlooked cognate. The FO knew “Bimbo” could and would be interpreted differently by many of us and yet they chose to stay the course. Likewise, with the Chick-Fil-A agreement.

    • I am offended that I am supposed to pay 100+ dollars to advertise a bread company I think is shit… that’s about it.

    • I’ll keep my non “Bimbo” jersey and wear it until it a dust rag. Take that monstrosity off of that once classy jersey!

  8. Normally I like Conor’s articles… but this one is stupid, inaccurate, and based solely on conjecture. Has Chik-Fil-A refused service to gays, belittled them, verbally abused them, slandered, committed any sort of conceivable hate crime, condemned homosexuality itself or done anything aside from publically expressing the corporate office’s opinion on gay marriage? The answer is no… which means you believe gays and their supporters can have opinions, but Chik-Fil-A’s God-given right to do the same is inapplicable. “Gay marriage is great and if you disagree, you’re Hitler”, in a nutshell, right? Save the Nazi comparisons and the mantle of “holier-than-thou” for yourselves.

    • frankswild says:

      Yes they have condemned homosexuality and they give money to organizations that lobby the government to pass laws that discriminate against gay people. That isn’t against they law but neither is criticizing them for their shitty views and actions.

    • To be fair some of my best friends have belittled me, verbally abused me and refused to serve me. (as they should) But none of they have tried to systematicly deny my civil liberties and financed people whose sole purpose in life is to deny me my basic qualit of life.

      I have low standards but that might be a deal breaker in friendship.

      P.S. You’re Wrong.

    • 1. Chik-fil-A donates a great deal of money to groups like Marriage and Family Foundation, whose lobbying efforts are the only reason gays don’t have the same legal rights as straights.
      2. The Nazi thing was at least partially a joke, hence the asterisks.

      • I love how people always try to hide behind jokes when they’re slandering others views. So be assured, I’m not REALLY calling anyone a simpleton beard-stroking hipster who would be lining up with the rest of the herd to inhale Chick-Fil-A sandwiches if it was perceived as somehow hip or enlightened, or if their owner made strongly anti-Catholic statements and put “Piss Christ” on the waffle fry boxes. I’m not actually suggesting that the “Third Reich” allusions are more aptly applied to a mob of people trying to silence an unpopular opinion and demonize its holders. It’s only a joke. Sheesh. Chill.

      • This is a joke:

        Jesus Christ is dying on the cross, his disciples are gathered around, crying. Peter looks up and notices that Jesus seems to be calling him, “Peter, come hither!” Immediately Peter rushes over to the cross, only to be hit severely over the head by the roman guard. He gets on his feet again and wants to return to the other disciples when he hears Jesus calling again, “Peter, come hither!” So, again Peter tries to climb the cross to get to his lord, when the roman soldier draws his sword and chops Peter’s arm off. Peter is getting a little pissed and wants to go back to his buddies, but again Jesus summons. The roman guard can’t believe that Peter is trying yet AGAIN to climb to the cross, and chops off another arm. Peter is now covered in blood and demented from the blow to the head and wants to call it a day. Jesus hoarsly croaks, “Peter, please, come to me!” By now, the roman gurad is tired of chopping limbs, so he lets Peter be. The faithful disciple struggles to climb the cross (without arms mind you) and after a long while he finally arrives at his Lord’s side. Hurting, suffering, bleeding, Peter looks into his Master’s eyes and asks, “yes, my Lord. What is it?” Jesus smiles lovingly and looks off into the distance as a weak smile plays across his face, “Look Peter, I can see your house from here!”

        Can you see your house from up there too?

      • What I can see is a very simple, very foolish person posting religious jokes on line.

      • It is a classic joke thank you very much.As opposed to your “joke” that didn’t work as a joke, didn’t work as satire. Really didn’t work that well getting your point across and was just generally trying to hard. I give your post 2 stars out of 5.
        Look i’m going to make a grand assumption and that assumption is that you aren’t stupid. With that assumption in mind I am going to assume you could tell that over the topness of the nazi comment was a joke. Now I ask you how were you specificly demonized? Have your posts been deleted? Are you banned?
        Is there a mob currently outside of your house? Do you with all of your intelligence not have the faculties to defend yourself intellectually?
        Must you make a mountain out a molehill out of a Nazi joke. Or unable to make an intelligent argument will you cling to this tangent to make your stand being unable to make a convincing argument otherwise?

  9. Looks like hitting ye olde Gay Rights Issue button is testing the limits of the new Website set up.

  10. 1) Chick-Fil-A has the right to advocate for or against anything that they wish; 2) The owners of the chain have the right to use their money to support any institutions, groups or advocates that they wish; 3) My continuing to buy their addictive and, it appears here, unanimously enjoyed chicken sandwiches that I always anticipated eating would provide the funds for them to support restrictions on people that are wrongly barred from full citizenship; 4) I will not willingly use my funds to provide the financial backing for a social position that I find ridiculous; 5)The Union has decided that it makes sense to affiliate with, and encourage joint marketing with Chick-Fil-A, despite knowing that the financial benefits of that relationship will lead to funding of that same ridiculous position; 6) I choose not to support the Union’s tone-deaf and retrograde decision on this point; 7) All parties (Chick-Fil-A, the Union and I) have the right to decide how to spend our money, not spend our money and to deal with the consequences. The end result is that everybody’s rights are respected: I lose out on a great sandwich, the Union disappoints one reasonably reliable ticketholder (who is even more disappointed by what he has seen on the field), and Chick-Fil-A loses a customer for good. While the outcome seems to hurt me the most, since I love both soccer and the food, if enough agree with me and withhold support from this campaign, Chick-Fil-A goes home and the Union learns that they can’t get in bed with everybody that waves a couple of bucks in front of them, even if they continue to pay Freddy to sit at home.

  11. frankswild says:

    I stopped buying things at Chickfila after finding out about their anti gay stance so I was not happy that Philly decided to partner with them. That said, I don’t think that this is an indication that the Union support their shitty views (I am hoping that the Union are the ones that get to pick the family of the day or whatever it is and they choose one that happens to be a same sex couple).

    Another important thing that I feel like I need to throw out there is how important it is for people to direct their energy on this. I am reminded of when the controversy arose last year and people took pictures of themselves buying Starbucks because that company is perceived as pro equality and how sad that made me. We aren’t limited as citizens to voting with our dollars and the idea that the best way to advocate for a position is to buy a product is not only incorrect but also a way to trap people into not actually doing something. Buying something or not buying something is literally the least action you can take on an issue and it should not feel like taking a stand because it isn’t taking a stand. Sure, it is good to boycott a company you don’t agree with but it really can’t end there. That isn’t how laws are passed or how rights are won or how oppression is defeated.

    • I don’t disagree. The most effective way to oppose the stance taken by the Cathy family, and by extension the business end of the Chick-Fil-A organization, would be to take their lemons and make lemonade (which is, unfortunately, another profit center for Chick-Fil-A). For example, I live around Boyertown and when, twenty years ago, the Klan started handing out their “literature” at an intersection in town, local opponents of that particular brand of idiocy started pledging donations to anti-Klan groups. For each minute that the Klan was out there, donations were collected. In essence, the longer that the Klan attempted to get their message out, the more that the Klan’s opponents were funded. The public recruiting stopped, when the effects were recognized by the Klan to be hurting their own efforts.

  12. If it was the “Dan Cathy family four pack” then I could see the issue. Last time I checked though its the “Chic Fil A Family four pack”.

    Dan Cathy gives his money to certain organizations. Then they do what they want with it. Everyone’s so hyped up on the negative aspects, but the organization in question ( they gave money to a single organization that then funded other organizations) also supports marriage, counseling and retreats for couples. They’re not all anti gay.

    But please, continue lumping the entire Company made up of thousands of indivduals with one man.

    Dan Cathy is against gay marriage.

    Chic Fil A just sells chicken.

    • Some profits from the chicken sold fund anti-gay “charities”. By purchasing said chicken, you’re contributing money to that agenda whether you want to or not.

      It’s not about the other people in the corporation vs Dan Cathy, it’s about the allocation of the money spent when eating their chicken.

      • I’ve got news for you. Unless you’re eating acorns that you gather on public land, you’re interacting with and transacting with many, many people who have views that would make the Cathys look like early-’70s Lou Reed. You may be exchanging money with them for goods and services. It’s called living in a diverse and free country.

      • But If you find out some of their belief you have the choice to not deal with them ad deal with people whom you would rather see your money go towards. It’s called living in a diverse and free country.

      • Right. So, don’t buy the chicken, and if it bothers you too much, don’t go to PPL. The end.

      • Nope not the end.

        I don’t do Chik-Fil-A and I am not abandoning my soccer club. (I mean for fucks ssake if I didn’t abandon it after last year there is no fucking way a group of backwards homophobes are gonna get me out. I am embedded like a gentle and loving tick.) But I will have my voice heard, I will say this is bullshit. I will respect my friends and acquantences and actually a few gay motherfuckers who I kind of hate and say this is wrong. In hopes my soccer club that love and support that they can do better.
        there are more than two options and don’t you ever presume to tell me to keep my mouth shut and stay home. Diverse Free Country ECT.

      • Geoff,

        You gonna stop using petroleum too? cause you know, That comes from OPEC. And those countries kill gays. Last time I checked, Chic Fil A didn’t kill anyone.

        Also, do you buy all your clothes and products “made in the USA”? If not, thry most likely came from a sweat shop somewhere where people are getting paid next to nothing or our basically slaves because they don’t make any money. Where does it stop?

        And like it was said, unless you grow, manufacture, and produce everything you use in life, some where you’re money is going towards some you may not agree with.

        You know what else that money from buying chic fil a goes to? Hardworking people who have families and bills.

      • frankswild says:

        This is the problem with boycotts, it quickly turns into a weird logic that if you use a product you support everything that went into it or you support the company that made it. If a person wants to boycott, they should- but know that to use that logic and method of political engagement can limit you in a lot of ways. And just to clarify, I think it is reprehensible to support a pro-discrimination organization and our government should be way more proactive in protecting the rights of every person in this country, especially the marginalized (write your congressperson).

      • Your argument is invalid, you’re using the perfect solution fallacy. The point clearly isn’t to solve all of the worlds problems and issues through the Union front office, but that doesn’t make this situation or discussion any less valid.

      • frankswild says:

        I would never claim that this discussion isnt worthwhile or valid (I have been pretty involved in this discussion) nor am I saying that people should avoid boycotting or contacting the FO to voice their concerns. I was only pointing out the problems that can arise from using purchasing decisions as a form of political engagement.

      • frankswild says:

        Whoops, sorry. I thought that was a reply to me. Nevermind

  13. JediLos117 says:

    What’s next? Gun control, abortions, Papa John’s, trade blockades? Please less politics and more footy.

    • Luva Golazo says:

      From where I sit as a soccer fan who came to the sport through watching and coaching my children, discourse of this kind in this medium seems to me to do nothing but harm to the growth of the sport in this country. I am pretty sure that much of the recent growth we are enjoying has less to do with Beckham, the overbearing elitist soccer nerds and immigrant ethnicities than with folk like me who maybe played a little school ball or rec or watched their kids or grand kids play and now buy tickets and gear. Look around PPL. See all the young soccer families and old guys with retro Phillies and Flyers gear. What I see and marvel at is a future for US soccer as a mainstream rather than marginalized sport. Thirty years ago I could not even hope for this success. I recall matches at RFK when I felt like the only gringo in the house. I believe continued success hinges in large part upon welcoming and including mainstream America. This kind of self-righteous sociopolitical bullying is definitely not going to help the cause. As a local sports media outlet your editorial participation while morally laudable does not well serve the sport or fandom. We need inclusiveness. We need education and intelligent dialogue. We even need a place to rant and opine and argue about our imagined heroes, villains, allies and enemies around this wonderful game with a tone of decency and mutual respect. We need to strengthen our commonalities and not our differences. We need to come to PPL to enjoy soccer together. And we need to leave our religious, moral, political and lifestyle differences outside the gate and off these pages. This just isn’t the place for it. Just sayin’…

      • Agree completely. When soccer is pervasive, as it is in many countries, then maybe fans can associate their teams with certain political subgroups — though if you look around the world, the results of that sort of self-selection are anything but positive.

      • Links too back that up?

      • Of course sectarianism is not a problem anywhere unless I give you links.

      • So I will take that as a no. The Green Brigade spearheaded a movement to eliminate racist chants and banners during their games. you are painting with broad strokes when you should be looking at this om a case by case basis.

      • hence the union shouldn’t contract with chik-fil-a. the politics are there already.

      • Sorry, no this doesn’t work. I hate the logic that whenever there is there is questionable behavior that some people want addressed the immediate argument is no we can’t talk about this it might effect soccer. You know what affect the growth of soccer? Having a shitty team.
        Adults having a discussion on how the actions of the teams management effect things in the outside world will not do a third of the damage of a shitty team.
        It was the same thing when word got out about the Union not paying Chester. The word was we can’t pay have a tax blah blah blah because we will have to shut down. It is generally a tactic by people to shut down a difficult conversation before it begins.

  14. I believe I read somewhere that the Union sponsorship was with the local tri-state chik-fil-a franchise owners and not the main corporate entity. If so, then I think that is a fair distinction to make. We have no clue what the social justice leanings of said franchise owners are. For all we know they may be totally against the stance of the corporate chik-fil-a officers in this regard. What are these local franchise owners supposed to do? Can they not run a business, not advertise, not support a local Philadelphia sports team in a growing but still niche sport which needs all the financial support it can get? I get why people are upset (and this is just my 2 cents) but it seems like a lot of venom, excess use of nazi analogies, and self-righteous chest-thumping just to make a statement against the beliefs of some of the members of chik-fil-a’s corporate officers. If you disagree with their beliefs then focus your energies against them and not against local franchise owners, or the Union for accepting their advertising money, or by “not eating” at a local franchise. I just don’t see this as an effective way to express your dislike for the beliefs of a few people in the main corporate office.

    • The same stance holds. the local franchise owners have an obligation to pressure the main corporate body yo abandon policies that make them all look bad and may negativly effect their buisness.

      • I guess the best way for those local franchise owners to show their opposition to the corporate philosophy would be to name a same-sex couple as ‘Family of the Match’.

      • that’d be a bone but i’d still rather see the promotion canceled. let the corporation/franchises take proactive steps towards addressing the issue before hand rather than allowing the union be used to promote intolerance and hate with some token lip service.

      • yup.

      • And if you eat their chicken, YOU’RE COMPLICIT, TOO!!! Who let the Stasi in here?

  15. The Black Hand says:

    Nani’s red card…legit??

      • No way. Nani had no idea he was around; Arbeloa basically slammed himself into Nani’s foot and commenced theatrics.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I think Nani knew Arbeloa was challenging, he seemed to peek at him prior to lift-off. Cleats up is a dangerous challenge but I do think it was as harsh as a referee can get. It completely deflated Man U. Modric’ goal was a cracker, though.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Super harsh, but technically a red. Nani went in cleats up and kicked out at the player at the end. If he didn’t, I think he would have gotten a talking to. Still, didn’t want to see a match like that decided by the ref and I hate Man U.

      • The refs have a wide latitude and discretion and a straight red for something so unintentional in a champions league game? No.

      • Ref must have seen intent. Or counted Nani’s “Ow my face” antics after the play as simulation, and that pushed him over the edge. It’s too bad the ref will never make a statement, and we’ll never know.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I think it was the kick out at Arbeloa.

      • The Black Hand says:

        It did ruin a good game, that Man U was controlling.

      • Yea Verily!

  16. Thanks for ruining my right to enjoy a day out, supporting our soccer team. It wasn’t enough with the whole Le Toux/Nowak/SoBs drama from last year. I want to come out and enjoy a game without turning it into some political/racial/sexual orientation activist event. It’s a sporting event!

    • frankswild says:

      Sorry dude, it became political once a company that is pro discrimination got involved

    • frankswild says:

      also i am still going to the game and enjoying it, i won’t let bigots stop me

    • Well if you want sports to be totally separate from equal rights, go to a NASCAR race. Perhaps teams shouldn’t wear pink to support breast cancer, or honor soldiers who’ve served, or support community bands to play the national anthem, or have youth games at half time. After all it just a sporting event and what do those have to do with that?

      Your day wouldn’t have been ruined if you hadn’t read the article. You are fre to go back to the Union Official Page for dry meaningless “party line” journalism that keeps it just to sports.

  17. The Black Hand says:

    Agree to disagree?? Anyone?

  18. The Black Hand says:

    TASTES GREAT!!!!!

  19. Chris Rudderow says:

    If a dude at a party pisses on your shoes and you say “Hey, who invited asshat that’s pissing on people’s shoes?”… Who’s to blame for ruining the party?

    I’ll save you the trouble and anwer myself… The blame is 87% Shoe Pisser, 13% inviter-of-the-shoe-pisser, and ZERO percent the guy who either gets, or feels the need to question why, he has wet feet.

  20. I hate to reiterate what others have already stated, but I think this is a non-issue if Chick-Fil-A’s owner only makes statements about gay rights (right to freedom of speech, yada yada). But their organization contributes millions of dollars to organizations who actively fight to keep LGBT Americans from receiving all the same rights available to heterosexual Americans. By forming a partnership with them, the Union are (albeit indirectly) contributing to that fight.

    As a season ticket holder and a GAY fan, I will continue to attend games because I enjoy the team as a whole and love soccer. I wouldn’t expect anyone to start boycotting the team. However, there is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion that you do not agree with the partnership. When I first heard about it, I was annoyed but didn’t feel strongly about it enough to voice any opinion. When the Union released their statement in response to the backlash, I admit I became a bit infuriated by their unwillingness to even mention sexual orientation, instead mentioning “personal beliefs.” Whatever, that still didn’t move me to any action. But when I keep getting emails and seeing promos for Chick-Fil-A “family 4-packs” or “family of the game,” knowing full well that the organization only supports one type of family, it really irks me that the Union seem to be oblivious to what type of statements they are making.

    /End rant.

  21. The Black Hand says:

    Well that was a hoot!

  22. mr. mxyzptlk says:

    Wow…when can we talk about really important stuff like getting smokin hot cheerleaders like the eagles have?

  23. Well written, amusing article about a difficult and controversial topic, Conor. After reading through the comments, I’d like to make two further comments.

    1. While some are saying that this is the wrong forum for this type of article, I completely disagree. In modern day sports, sponsorship and money are hugely important to a team’s viability and success. We the fans should encourage the team to get sponsors we can support so in the long run it becomes a win-win situation for all involved. When there is a sponsor that a large portion of the fans oppose, that sponsor is less likely to continue pouring money into the Union. What I would really have liked to see is for Conor to suggest a replacement sponsor that more people will support.

    2. I’ve seen several comments criticizing Conor’s post but nothing that really says why Chick-Fil-A makes a good long term sponsor if a large portion of the audience is going to boycott their products. Much as I happen to agree with Conor’s position, I’d appreciate the opportunity to read an article expressing the opposite viewpoint.

  24. Southside Johnny says:

    If you have through all of this crap, you seriously need to get a life…

  25. Not sure anyone in my family has been called a Nazi since the 1940’s. Good article though as someone who doesn’t agree with Chick Fil A and has season tickets I’m not to bothered by this situation. I don’t think the Union in anyway supports Dan Cathy’s views and I don’t think that the general public does either. I think the Union saw a chance to offer tickets to local families with a little extra and no other sponsor was willing to step up for this offer. I would just like to not be vilified, I get that the Nazi thing was partially a joke, for feeling like this is a non-issue in my book by what is the large majority of people.

    As a complete side note I gladly held up my RR sign last week not because we were sticking it to Chick Fil A, but because we were showing support for a great man who took a huge risk and opened himself up to the world without knowing what it’s reaction would be. I think anyone who drags the show of support for Robbie Rogers into this argument needs think about it before they keep talking.

  26. My girlfriend and I were season ticket holders last year and I’m extremely glad that we don’t have to endure these chick-fil-a nights this year since we didn’t renew(specifically cause we didn’t want to spend the money this time around). I’d like to mention that we were mocked and made to feel uncomfortable for being gay a few times at PPL Park last season. Yeah it’s shitty and then you move on, but it would be nice to feel that PPL Park is truly welcoming to us and right now it’s just not. Will be watching from home on the television…

    • ugh. that sucks. can’t say i’m surprised. i had to deal with some homophobes in the river end last year.

    • frankswild says:

      thats horrible. do you mind if i ask what section you were in?

      • We sat in section 124 and the people around us were absolutely great. The incidents all occurred walking around the stadium or parking lots. I have to say that the Sons of Ben showed class with the Robbie Rogers tribute and I’m glad that they stick up for LGBTQ people, even if the Front Office doesn’t. Thanks for your support. Maybe the people who don’t think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed only feel that way because it doesn’t affect them or anyone they care about.

  27. Before commenting further on either side, consider this thoughtful commentary by Shane L. Windmeyer, a leading LGBT activist who has now come out as a friend of Chick-Fil-A’s President and COO, Dan Cathy:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-l-windmeyer/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a_b_2564379.html

  28. This article should have been titled “chicken Sale at Diry Bird’s!” Any organization who either financially supports,is in k-hoots with, or lends it’s name to or(in the Unions case) plays booth ends against the middle is below contempt.

  29. I’m impressed, I need to say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

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