On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that temporarily suspends immigration for citizens of seven countries with large Muslim populations; Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The ban is scheduled to last for 90 days.
In the wake of the controversial move, the Vancouver Southsiders supporters group has decided not to organize charter bus trips to the USA until border conditions change. The group, which boasts roughly 700 members, has routinely gone on trips to Portland and Seattle in the past, carrying the hashtag #Capsontour. From the statement on the group’s website:
Our supporter’s group was founded on the principles of inclusivity, acceptance and respect for all who sought to stand with us. Since our earliest days we have stood for equality, and we have spoken out against racism and bigotry. We have always strived to be the place where everyone feels welcome. We are the place where everyone belongs.
Southsiders President Peter Czimmermann did an interview with the Vancouver Province newspaper, and said about a dozen members of the group would not be able to travel to the US under the ban. That must’ve made the decision pretty damn easy.
The situation is shameful and unbelievable, and it’s nice to see the Southsiders taking a stand for what they believe in. It could have been very easy to hand-wave all of this away under the guise of ‘let’s not mix politics and sports’. However, the magnitude of the ban is immense, and the Southsiders statement is an example of just how far-reaching it truly is, and how many people it can affect. Or, simply put, some things are bigger than the game.
The Southsiders, in my opinion, have taken a totally measured and reasonable approach to the situation. They aren’t trying to forbid members from going to away matches or shame them into staying home, they’re simply asking to not bring the Southsiders scarf if they head across the border.
We have just one request – if you travel to a Whitecaps game in the US in the foreseeable future, we ask that you leave your Southsiders scarf at home as a sign of respect for members who cannot cross the border with the same ease and personal freedom as you do.
It can always be a minefield when you mix politics and sports, but I think the group has toed the line quite nicely here, in a very classy move.
What do you think of the statement? Let us know in the comments