Following an incident at the San Jose Earthquakes match in Portland on April 14, 2013 involving the breaking of a car windshield reported to the Portland Police Department as having been allegedly perpetrated by an Earthquakes supporter, on April 19, the 1906 Ultras were placed on indefinite probation by Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. The probation included a ban on traveling to away games, and a ban on use of smoke and profane chants at home games, a sanction which we voluntarily accepted, not knowing at the time the identity of the perpetrator. The 1906 Ultras also conveyed an offer to pay for the broken windshield. The individuals involved in the incident have spoken to the police and cooperated in their investigation. To date no charges have been filed but the investigation is still ongoing.
On June 21, 2013, the 1906 Ultras received the following email from MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez:
Earthquakes President Dave Kaval confirmed to 1906 Ultras representatives via telephone on June 21 and text message on June 24 that the probation would be lifted after the Seattle home game on July 13. Below is a copy of his text message from June 24:
After the Seattle home game on July 13, Kaval told 1906 Ultras representatives via telephone that the ban would not be lifted because a 1906 Ultras member complained to the front office about being mistreated by Earthquakes security at the Stanford game against the Galaxy and because unspecific profanity was used at the Seattle game by unnamed members.
While there was a smoke device set off within the ultras section at the Stanford game, Kaval said he would have overlooked that if it wasn’t for the complaint about mistreatment.
Put together, it is clear from these messages that we are being collectively punished because no one was criminally charged for the Portland incident. It is also clear that punishment is continuing not because we violated the terms of the probation but instead in retaliation because one of our members had the temerity to complain about being manhandled by Earthquakes security. We categorically deny the allegation that we used profane chants at the Seattle game, and we have a full unadulterated recording of the match as proof. Plainly, this accusation is merely a pretext to continue the probation and prevent us from travelling to Los Angeles to support the Earthquakes players against the Galaxy on August 31. As mentioned, Kaval did not specify names of who is accused of using profanity or what words they used.
By its terms, this probation should have ended on July 14 but Kaval has gone back on his word and continues to maintain the unprecedented indefinite probation despite his and the league’s prior assurances that it would be lifted, punishing hundreds of innocent ultras members who have done nothing wrong. From this day forward we shall be protesting – and defying – the unfair and illegitimate probation until it is ended. Absent our consent, MLS and the Earthquakes cannot prevent Ultras members from traveling where they want, saying what they choose, and otherwise exercising the freedoms associated with being Americans.
This is a matter for the Portland police and district attorney’s office, who have so far declined to press charges. Continuing punishment against the Ultras – which the league imposed precisely because NO charges were filed – is an abomination which we do not and will not recognize any longer.