VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps hastily issued a press release clarification stating their ambivalence to the Fort McMurray situation on Monday after a "Support Fort McMurray" banner was allowed to hang in the supporters section of the Whitecaps fans during a game against the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
"We do not condone political messages of any kind," stated Whitecaps Chief Operating Officer Rachel Lewis. "After a quick discussion with our Whitecaps supporters we decided to leave the banner as it was already hanging and we didn't want to cause a scene. However, the Whitecaps must categorically state that we will not tolerate political messaging of any kind and renounce the idea that the Whitecaps support or do not support or even think about Fort McMurray and the issues that city is facing."
Ms. Lewis went on to say, "we are also retracting our support for Pride, and give racism the red card as these are both are inherently political statements. Supporters will be advised that supporting LGBT rights and opposing racism as a political statement in B.C. Place are antithetical to what the Whitecaps are about. We are attempting to craft a family friendly atmosphere free of any kind of thoughts as to the outside world what-so-ever and rampant political abuse like Support Fort McMurray draws attention to the suffering of others."
While Whitecaps supporters offered solidarity with the banner that was spray painted, they were reportedly not surprised to hear of the Whitecaps decision as security there has cracked down on any political statements in the past.
"While it is disappointing to find out that the Whitecaps must vocalize that they don't support Fort McMurray, we the fans will still make ourselves heard, unless, of course, they confiscate all of our supposedly political banners in the future," stated Whitecaps fan Dean Parot.
The Nutmeg News will have more on this as the Whitecaps issue a statement claiming the previous statement and the conversation about the banner was taken out of context.