To the amazing fans of Section 16

So this was forwarded to me and requested that I post it, so here it is:

My name is James Sadler, and I sit in Section 16, row E, seat 14. Many of you in our section witnessed something during and after the game against the Galaxy I would like to talk about.

For 80 minutes last night I listened to someone near me making racial comments, directed not only at opposing players for LA, but some of those comments were even directed at our own Supporter's groups in the south end of the stadium. Eventually I got to the point where I could not listen to it anymore and said something to this person.

First I would like to personally apologize to everyone that heard the language I used last night, I know it was probably offensive to many of you and the situation was handled horribly on my part. I reached a point where instead of handling it properly and like a human being, I resorted to foul and abusive language to get my point across, and for that I have no excuse and can't take it back, and I will always regret my actions.

It is my opinion that racism is a stain on our society and it has no place in our country or any other. I cannot and will not sit back and put up with comments like the ones I heard last night, and I recognize that I simply could have gotten out of my seat and gone to the security staff at Rio Tinto to get assistance. This is not something to me that has any place in our society, and I find it shameful that it has been brought into Major League Soccer by spectators, not fans. This is not the first time I have heard comments like these at an RSL game, and I know that it does not reflect the views of the majority of fans either at RSL games or in American sports in general. Real Salt Lake's first-team roster includes players from 11 countries, and it is stunning to me that people don't recognize they are watching the worlds most multicultural sport and have respect for that fact. A current example of how bad this is on the world stage can be found right now at the European Championships, where instead of celebrating some of the best players the world has to offer at one of the premier soccer events in the world, the tournament has been stained by the actions of fans of multiple countries. This is the last thing that MLS should ever be known for, and I am not the only one to experience this kind of reprehensible behavior at Rio Tinto.

I cannot wait to return to Rio Tinto Stadium on July 7th to watch RSL take 3 points from Portland, and I welcome anyone who was offended by my language to come talk to me so I may apologize to you in person and attempt to make amends for it. I never want to be known solely for my actions last night, as I know I have more to offer RSL as a fan, and society as a person. To all players, staff and fans at RSL, I promise to handle things the right way in the future, and I implore all fans of this game to please help to stop racist behavior so that no one person ever feels they cannot enjoy this game or any other event in their life without the fear of being abused by another person.

Thank you,

James Sadler

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