You have seen the video, either it was a move by Thierry Henry to showboat a bit, or a move to kick the ball out of reach and delay the restart of their match, but in the end it caused Kevin Hartman to lose at least 2-3 weeks of being able to play. Oh many of us knew that MLS wouldn't do the right thing, they wouldn't suspend their new favorite player, no way not with a big TV match coming this week against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
If you wondered if there were two different sets of rules in MLS, well today the league answered that question:
So no suspension, and a fine of $2,000. Really?
So this guy gets fined the guy who makes $5,000,000.00 a year gets fined $2,000 for taking out one of the leagues top keepers for several matches on a stupid away from action stunt. It TH14 played every of the 2700 regular season minutes this year he would make $1851.85 per minute, but we know he won't play close to that but the message it sends is clear. Would the message have been clear if they had said that TH14 couldn't play until Hartman could? Did they raise the fine knowing that the money wouldn't matter but they could show how "harsh" they were dealing with him, without actually suspending him?
If you are a superstar, if you are a player that "the Don" and the heads of MLS value then you can do whatever you want and expect nothing as punishment, this fine is less than a hand slap, it isn't even going to register with him.
Yet a week earlier a player did a stupid thing away from the run of play, the impact of Javier Morales stupid move was a smirk from the opposing player, but that was a $250 fine and a 1 card suspension. I am going to say that Morales deserved it, I had an interesting talk with a former player about it and while we both agree that the review system is very flawed. We both agreed it was a very stupid thing to do and it could have been worse, but for MLS to go back and take the action they did against him, and then for a player who in the act of showboating caused a top player for a playoff contending team to miss 3-4 weeks of action, and he gets a one minute fine.
We clearly have a league that believes that the rules are only applied when it doesn't impact their "greater vision". It is sad and it is stuff like this that clearly reminds me why I still believe that MLS needs to make a change in leadership. Rules and enforcement, should be universal, no exceptions because a player is a big name, no exceptions because a player has a big TV match coming up.
Nope MLS is a league that is making it clear that there are two rulebooks. It is a dark day for MLS, and I am sure this will not do anything to win me any allies in the New York offices of MLS/SUM, but the truth no matter how unpopular with some is still the truth and today MLS disappointed me in a very large way.
OFF MY SOAPBOX