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HBO’s Real Sports is about to turn up the heat on Chivas USA, MLS

Jul 22, 2013, 8:51 PM EDT

You’ve asked all year. “How is Chivas USA allowed to do this?” Potentially discriminatory practices. Reported hiring preferences. If it’s not Mexican or Mexican-American, it’s not Chivas USA, we’ve come to understand. How exactly does that jive with state and local law? And even if it does, why is Major League Soccer allowing this to happen?

It looks like HBO is going to get to try to get to the bottom of it. On this month’s edition of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, reporter Soledad O’Brien digs into the controversy, with a minute of the show teased via the network’s YouTube channel (and embedded, above).

Consider this is a pretty main stream news magazine. For soccer stories to trickle into the “MSM,” they usually have to involve Messi, political unrest, organized crime, or the kind of brutality that makes us ask “is that the only reason you care?”

This story has the potential to be told with the same kind of sensationalism, and rightly so. For any company in the U.S., let alone a soccer franchise, the type of discrimination alleged to be taking place would be headline news. And if the issue made it into an edition of Real Sports, surviving the cutting room floor, there’s probably a story to tell.

If all publicity is really good publicity, Major League Soccer may be in good shape. However, if there are some things for which you don’t want to be known, the league’s can’t be happy to see O’Brien’s work generating this kind of buzz.

The full episode airs tomorrow night, so come Wednesday morning, you’re sure to hear more about what HBO’s uncovered. The next move will be MLS’s.

  1. mdac1012 - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    It’s about time! Maybe MLS will finally be forced to do something about the embarrassment that is Chivas USA.

  2. Wolfgang Depner - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Finally – a reason for MLS to step in assume and assume ownership of the franchise. If handled well, this embarrassment could be an opportunity.

  3. buzzerj - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    The problem with this idea is not every Mexican American roots for Chivas Guadalahara. Many root for other Liga MX teams like Cruz Azul, Club America, Morelia, Pumas, Puebla, Atlas, Tijuana etc. So if Chivas USA is trying to appeal to all Mexican Americans by branding themselves after one Liga MX team, it’s still a reach for the Latino sports fan. Would every American living in a another country align themselves with a local incarnation branded the Yankees, Packers or Lakers in those respective sports? I think many would see it as laughable. I don’t see that heritage idea as workable for any ethnic group.

  4. mikeevergreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    Swap Chivas USA for Club TJ. Problem solved.

  5. footballer4ever - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    At one point i saw a Vergara interview which stated he wanted ChivasUSA made up from Mexican or/Mexican descent from Southern California. Vergara might get away doing that in Mexico, but i am amazed MLS was caught snoozing orn this one. Let this be a lesson that it’s not okay to discriminate onto others just like Mexicans/Cubans or any majority ethnic tend to do bur are so easy to cry foul when they are discriminated against.

  6. hildezero - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    YES! FINALLY!! IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! Someone realizes!!!! Don Garber and MLS needs to have some balls and brains to fix what’s going on at Chivas. Either move Chivas to PHX or rebrand the entire franchise… Such a sad thing…

  7. adiaz9201 - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Its a damn shame for this to be happening in modern times still, I thought maybe we should put that franchise in Mexico, but this would further enhance the situation of just Mexican players and not other players from around the world. But in doing my research I found that the MX league in Mexico has foreign born players from south america and in fact one Brazilian player is the highest payd in the MX league.

    My point, maybe is just a miss understanding?

  8. jpan007 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    About time

  9. footballer4ever - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM


    Misunderstanding? Doubtful. Chivas and ChivasUSA is from the same owner’s mentality to employ and benefit Mexicans only. It’s one thing to take care of your own, but it’s another thing to want to take care of your own only and not allow anyone else a chance. That is called discrimination no matter how you slice it.

  10. mvktr2 - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    We know the club rep was lying in the vid because he said ‘(at CUSA) we bring in talent’. 😉

    As someone whom has become quite attached to MLS I’ve heard multiple times about what Dallas, Cbus, & Colorado have done to address financial and/or attendance issues. Cbus for instance worked this off season with the league office to attain a target of 10,000 season ticket holders reaching 9000+ last I heard. Yet I’ve heard absolutely nothing concerning CUSA. One of the reason the fans are left to draw their own negative conclusions is because the club and league to a lesser degree haven’t talked up their efforts at success. All we’ve heard is player this player that pride this club that from Vergana and right down the line. This means little when the team you’re sharing residence with is constantly releasing pr’s telling what’s going on in the academy, communicates clearly with their supporters groups, etc.

    As Marty Huggins says, ‘it’s a mess’.

  11. talgrath - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    HBO Real Sports might not be a huge mainstream publication like Sportcenter or the like, but I guarantee you that some of them will mention it because Real Sports is. This powder keg that is Chivas USA is about to go off in a major way, MLS needs to get ahead of it and soon or it could be a real black eye for a sport that is struggling to grow in the US.

  12. mlsconvert88888 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    For Real. It’s one thing to celebrate heritage and culture, but if you’re a competitive franchise in this country, trying to compete with the best of the best, there’s no room for even playing favorites with a certain ethnic group. You need to be getting the best players available, which means being without any ethnic bias. Jackie Robinson taught people that 65 years ago. To do otherwise is Un-American.

    I think the fan base is there in SoCal, they just need to rebrand and get an ownership group that actually cares about having a successful MLS franchise.

  13. charliej11 - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I wonder if MLS pushed for this ?

    I would if the owner wasn’t going to sell and I wanted him to.

  14. footballer4ever - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    One thing this Vergara mentality will lead him to, aside being sued, will be for his other Mexican football Club, Chivas, to be demoted from LigaMX because they are concentrated in hiring Mexicans only instead of hiring talent that will make them competitive. I guess you can see the effects already of such antiquated, narrow minded and discriminative thinking.

    • reformed2012 - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      yes, and so how is hiring a bunch of foreigners in EPL have done to the England national team so far?

      Hint: They are now just road kill for the USA.

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