Some controversy was stirred up this evening shortly before kick off and it surrounded Salt Lake Tribune columnist and 1280 The Zone radio personality Gordon Monson.
The Salt Lake Tribune released the following statement early this evening.
According to their statement Real Salt Lake revoked the press credential for Gordon Monson, and in turn the Tribune removed all coverage for tonight’s match, including Chris Kamrani who has been one of the only voices in mainstream media here in Salt Lake City to consistently cover Real Salt Lake over the past few years.
Real Salt Lake released a statement after some outcries on twitter from local and national soccer media-types, in which CBO Andy Carroll explained the team’s position.
There’s a lot more here than in the quoted statement from the Tribune, and clearly it’s laced with scolding hot language to solidify the team’s position in the matter. This is obviously something that goes back several months, if not longer. In a sense, there is no arguing with the fact that Real Salt Lake has the prerogative to deny admittance or the privilege of a press credential to anyone they chose.
There’s a line there where those in the media — and fans — do not want someone who covers a team to have their privileges revoked based on what they write or how they cover the team. There’s an argument that having people who are willing to write aggressive or pointed pieces bring transparency and accountability to the organizations and teams that they cover.
According to the club, this is something that reaches not only to what Monson has written in the past regarding RSL (Monson: Is RSL being run into the ground, Salt Lake Tribune) but also points to a conflict of interest relating to his employment and association with 1280 AM’s owner, the Utah Jazz, and the son of former Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts, Spencer Checketts.
One can only imagine that there have been conversations outside of the public arena that would lead to the team concluding that the conflict exists.
Major League Soccer, according to the Tribune is looking into the claims made by Real Salt Lake and will likely weigh in on all of this eventually.
Surely, there will be more coming from Monson, the Tribune, and RSL this week, and we look forward to talking about it.