Major League Softness: The MLS Fined A Team $100,000 And Suspended A Group Of Their Fans For Using Flares During A Playoff Match

ESPN- Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday it has fined LAFC $100,000 and indefinitely suspended the privileges of the supporter group 3252 after the group engaged in "serious misconduct" just prior to the Western Conference final against the Houston Dynamo on Dec. 2.

In addition to having its supporter privileges suspended for next season, the 3252 -- the section of fans who sit on the north end of LAFC's BMO Stadium -- will have its privileges "restricted" for this Saturday's MLS Cup final against the Columbus Crew, to be held at Field in Columbus, Ohio.

One source with knowledge of the incident told ESPN that the misconduct involved the lighting of around 20 flares, which were not authorized by MLS. The flares created so much smoke that the start of the game had to be delayed. The flares were lit despite accommodations being granted to 3252 to create what is called "safe smoke."

What kind of bullshit is this? I get that the MLS had to be feeling themselves after Messi was one of the biggest stories in sports over the summer when he was scoring goals every single goddamn night. But getting the GOAT (yeah I said it) of soccer is something you can only do once, with his daily goals being partially thanks to him playing is what has long been viewed as the minor leagues as soccer.

In order to grow the game to the level Mintzy grew college baseball, you need to do stuff that makes soccer awesome to the casuals and stopping soccer fans from being full blown hooligans is flat out hurting the game. Chaos and mayhem are at the center of some of the best soccer moments I have ever seen. Brawls between fans, bags of bodily fluids being thrown from the crowd, and chants so crass that we can't even publish them on Dave Portnoy's Barstool Sports is what makes the beautiful game so beautiful.

Punishing a soccer fanbase for giving their team a home field advantage is crazy. To punish them for doing it during a PLAYOFF match is damn near a fireable offense. I couldn't be more on the 3252's side for not only having a badass name that sounds like some crazy gang, but for also making their stadium look like the Gates of Hell. I don’t care if those flares were spewing safe smoke or the most dangerous smoke on the planet. The MLS should be rewarding fanbases for bringing in the crazy side of soccer that you see in countries that are obsessed with the sport instead of happily being America's token soccer league. Give me more shit like this with the MLS and they may actually become a true major league in America.