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A statement from ECS leadership

On July 21st vs Portland, we flew an Iron Front 3 arrows flag in the Brougham End. The three arrows represent our commitment to equality and inclusion, just as our “Anti-Fascist | Anti-Racist | Always Seattle” banners do. Starting in pre-World War 2 Germany, the three arrows have been a symbol of the fight against fascism, oppression and persecution and to this day continue to represent these important values around the world. Fascism is the exact opposite of these beliefs and therefore cannot be allowed to exist in the same space. If we, as a supporter group, as a soccer club, and as a community allow fascists to be comfortable, they will continue to stand in opposition to what we believe. We will not allow that. We will not stop fighting for what is right.

In response to the use of this flag ECS has been issued a formal warning from the Seattle Sounders for violating the Fan Code of Conduct by displaying political signage. You can read the formal documentation we received in the letter below. On Thursday ECS leadership, Gorilla FC leadership, and Alliance Council leadership met with the club to discuss this. The ownership and leadership of the club stated their belief that the Iron Front is a political symbol and cited complaints they received from season ticket holders about the flag as further reason it would not be allowed.

The rights we stand for are not political, they are human rights. No one should be oppressed or persecuted because of who they are. As with all things in life no one should feel they can’t attend a soccer match and support the club they love. Just like the Iron Front symbol, the Emerald City Supporters stand for the oppressed and the persecuted.

In their unanimous decision to declare the three arrows political and ban it from their stadiums, Major League Soccer and its clubs have done the impossible: They’ve united the supporter groups of this league, including ECS and the Timbers Army. We’re proud to stand with them on the right side of history.

CALL TO ACTION

Let the club know (phone calls go further than emails) that the Iron Front is not a political symbol and how you felt when you saw it flying in the Brougham End. If you’re a season ticket holder, reach out to your ticket rep. If you are not a season ticket holder your voice and opinion still matter, use the contact information here. You can also share your opinion with the Alliance Council (read their #CallingFowl statement as well). ECS members are invited to discuss in our forum.

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Update, 8/3/2019: Following a phone conversation on Thursday with ECS, GFC and Alliance Council leadership, Sounders FC sent us the following letter. We appreciate their apology and re-affirmation of the values and beliefs of the club. While we disagree on the classification of the Iron Front symbol as political, we are proud to share the values of equality, inclusion, anti-fascism and anti-racism with the club. We will continue to advocate for change and encourage our fellow supporters in Seattle and across MLS to join us in eliminating fascism from our stadiums, our cities, our league, and our sport.