Chicago Fire communications director Dan Lobring wrote a fervent plea to the clubs fans to avoid using personal attacks on officials, particularly owner Andrew Hauptman.
A small minority of Fire supporters have been scathing in their opinions toward Fire officials in recent times but Lobring felt he needed to target them directly by posting an editorial on the club’s official website.
The following is an excerpt from Lobring’s post: “But are personal attacks, threats, accusations, etc., that happened at that Open Cup game OK? Are shouting obscenities to staff, our owner and his family, or other supporters attending games with their families the norm? There’s a fine line between love and hate and being critical vs. being destructive. Certain incidents in particular related to that game have given me and others at the Club pause.”
The words were welcomed by both Fire CEO Atul Khosla and Hauptman himself as the club continues to stamp out anti-social behaviour at its home games.
“When we notice at a game that a minority – a 1 percent minority – is jeopardizing the enjoyment and safety of the others that’s not something we’ll stand for,” Khosla told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday.
“Dan (was) highlighting that issue. And absolutely by no means is trying to disrespect the majority of the fan base that’s incredibly passionate and comes out every single game. … We could have made (that) a little clearer.”
A thankful Hauptman added: “Dan was impassioned in his blog editorial, and I truly applaud that even if it was perhaps misunderstood by some.
“What I believe he was trying to communicate was that our staff, our players and our ownership care deeply about the club and we try and always to act with respect, integrity and responsibility, and we expect our fans to uphold those same standards.”