PORTLAND, Ore. — Members of the Timbers Army are meeting with Major League Soccer representatives Thursday to discuss the league’s ban on “political” symbols.
Timbers Army supporters have been upset all season about the revised MLS Fan Code of Conduct, which banned flying "political signage" at games.
This included the "Iron Front" symbol many members of the Timbers Army have flown in recent years, which was originally used by an anti-fascist group in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
The Timbers Army has organized various protests during the past month or so, protesting the ban.
In one match, the group, usually known for its liveliness, decided to stay quiet during the first 33 minutes. In another match, they chose not to wave any flags.
Several members of the Timbers Army, including prominent Cider Riot owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong, were banned for a few games after they were spotted donning clothing or flags with the Iron Front symbol.
Other supporter groups, like the Seattle Sounders' Emerald City Supporters, have protested the MLS policy. In a match last weekend, the group staged a walkout after a fan was allegedly escorted out of the stadium for waving a flag with the Iron Front logo.
Thursday morning, OPB talked with Timbers Army President Sheba Rawson before she was set to meet with representatives of the MLS.
“The word political as it sits in the fan code of conduct is inherently vague. One could argue that the American flag is political, that the rainbow flag is political. I think it’s problematic to expect stadium officials to figure out on the fly whether or not something is deemed political," Rawson told OPB.
Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson sent out a tweet in support of the Timbers Army.
Paulson said, “I look forward to today’s important step in the dialogue. As a long-time owner in this league, I have faith in both MLS and out supporters to be able to come together, make progress and move forward towards positive change.”