The Road to Damascus. Or Poplar Point. Or Blackburn. Or Somewhere.
Washington Post catches up with the Times on reporting former Mayor Marion Barry's conversion to a soccer specific stadium supporter (ssss?) at Poplar Point. Great details on why Barry changed his mind in the story. Also, a warning for anyone who thinks that this is out of the woods yet. The idea that soccer is the sole provence of the surburban soccer mom worries some:
For Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner T'Chaka Sapp, the question was whether nearby residents would have a real shot at contracts to supply popcorn, sell beer or water or even to wash the clothes and linens.
"We want some wealthy folks to come out of this thing," said Sapp, who also asked why there weren't more black people involved in the team's leadership. "I need to see someone in leadership who looks like me."
This is not merely racial grandstanding. I think there's a legitimate issue here that DCU has partially addressed. The DCU fans are fairly well integrated (probably more integrated than any sport other than football.) But there's an initial knee-jerk reaction that soccer is a white person's preppy sport among some residents of our fair city. It is a perception which, if ignored, will only grow stronger, despite what the truth of the situation is. DCU must be perceived as a racially inclusive force. To the credit of the front office, I think they know that (and not just within the black/white polarity, but across all ethnicities) and are handling this well. Still, it is a difficult thing to prove the absence of racism. Not for nothing does the joke start "Some of my best friends..."
Also, Brian Carroll is getting a tryout with Rovers. Good luck, have fun, I want you back here in the Spring of '06.