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F Bombs, "SHORT shorts", and Colin Clark: Your complaints to the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission has responded to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Once A Metro. This is what we learned: Soccer is a filthy sport.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

My favorite aspect of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), besides the marginally more open government, is the ability to read what activates the ennui centers of this great nation during its sports broadcasts. The complaints about Tom Brady cussing like a sailor were absolute gold. The complaints about Lebron James channeling his inner 'Magic Mike' took it to a whole 'nother level. And now, we have soccer complaints! YAY!

Dating back to January 1, 2012 (the FCC throws out stuff that's more than 3 years old), only 16 complaints about the world's game were submitted. They have been divided up into relevant categories. Mild edits have been employed.

Category 1: Colin Clark


Problem Submitted Time: 3/24/2012 3:24:46 AM

City/State/Zip: Tacoma, WA 98405

Network: NBC Sports

Problem Description: "During the game, at the 6 minute and 58 second mark, Houston Dynamo player Colin Clark #7, utters the phrase "f-----g f----t" right into the field-side microphone."


Problem Submitted Time: 3/26/2012 7:43:18 PM

City/State/Zip: San Diego, CA

Network: NBC

Problem Description: "Profane language and a gay slur used on live TV against a child by a professional sportsman.Houston player Colin Clark verbally abuses a child 'ball boy" 6 minutes into the game calling him a "F-----g F----t", while standing next to the microphone, for no apparent reason.

here's a copy of the clip on youtube VX2cXIJdZIo&feature player_embedded

also covered in major news media

ESPN 13 7/houston-dynamo-cohn-clark-faces-mIs-review-gay-slur

USA TODAY 2/03/houstons-colin-clark-yells-homophobic-slur-at-bahl-boy/1


all-boy/20 I 2/03/26/gIQAp6sPcS_blog.html

CBS 8042294/mis-investigating-gay-slur-by-dynamos-clark



http ://seattletimes.nwsource.comlhtml/sounders/20 I 7834028_sounders25 .html

During the halftime break and review after the game was over there was no apology from NBC despite the words being clearly heard.

During sports broadcasts sound is a vital for the viewer to experience game atmosphere when watching but should cameras be mounted where play speach [sic] can be clearly heard?"

Conclusions: Colin Clark received a 3 game suspension for his indiscretion.

The referenced news outlets named and shamed Colin Clark, as they should, but "San Diego" needed more.

I think "San Diego" here should go into "speachwriting"

Category 2: The "F" Word and its derivatives


Problem Submitted Time: 5/28/2012 10:41:26 PM

City/State/Zip: Plantersville, TX 77363

Network: CW

Problem Description: "The News magazine program called newsfix was showing a clip of David Beckham the soccer player when on the clip shown the words "Its so F-----g Hot in Houston was aired in front of my family. I do not appreciate this and want them fined for not editing a taped interview before airing. this is not acceptable. thanks"

Conclusions: It is F-----g hot in Houston.


Problem Submitted Time: 11/8/2012 11:57:55 AM

City/State/Zip: Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203

Network: ESPN2

Problem Description: "The MLS team San Jose Earthquakes has a supports group which is sanctioned by the organization which has a chant featuring prominently obscene language. This is in violation of MLS code of conduct, and it has been brought to the attention of both the MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes organization prior to the event's broadcast date and time. During the broadcast of the soccer game last night, the chant was heard on the TV broadcast a minimum of two times. The chant only has 7 words, and the obscene word is prominent and the focal point of the phrase. It is, "We don't give a f--- about LA." A home recorded version of the chant by this group, which calls themselves the 1906 Ultras, can be found at this link: 9Aiy 161 -Tgc As I have said, I have brought this to the attention of both MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes, but as this is also airing on FCC regulated networks, I thought it was appropriate to report it to the FCC as well."

Conclusions: Seven word chants should keep their prominent words and focal points separate.


Problem Submitted Time: 8/26/2014 4:54:36 AM

City/State/Zip: Seattle, WA 98103

Network: KIRO

Problem Description: "During the broadcast of Major League Soccer Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders on ESPN 2 (Channel 32) also simulcast on KIRO radio (Channel 97.3 FM) on August 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm PDT, repeated chanting of the phrase "F*ck Seattle" was clearly audible throughout the 90- minute broadcast. The word "F*ck" is heard crystal clear in the chanting throughout the program, repeatedly. About 15 minutes into the broadcast, you can hear the stadium announcer remind the crowd that profanity is not allowed."

Conclusions: It's definitely not the radio simulcast's problem. Although, with content like this, they should be punished nonetheless.


Problem Submitted Time: 4/30/2015 9:24:53 PM

City/State/Zip: Westwood, NJ 07675

Network: Univision Deportes

Problem Description: "At about 8:57 PM Eastern on the Univision Deportes alternate English language broadcast of tonight's (April 3, 2015) DC United vs. Orlando FC MLS soccer match, announcer Ramses Sandoval said the phrase "f--- it" very loudly and clearly. He was describing a player's reaction (". . . Pumped his fist and said F--- IT"). The game clock read 92:22 when Sandoval said this. It's bad enough that profanity from fans, players, and coaches is increasingly being caught over the mics, but this deliberate and intentional utterance is completely unacceptable. My six year old daughter was watching with me. I hope that Sandoval will be fined and sanctioned for this. This behavior is unacceptable from a broadcast professional."

Conclusions: #MLSSAP.

Category 3: The "P" word and its derivatives


Problem Submitted Time: 4/18/2013 2:51:30 PM

City/State/Zip: San Francisco, CA 94103

Network: ESPN2

Problem Description: "During the live broadcast of a soccer game, on at least 4 occasions the crowd was clearly heard yelling homophobic slurs in Spanish, the work "P--O" translates to 'f----t' and it could easily be heard and understood by my children watching a sporting event, we should not be subject to this kind of abuse by a Television network. there are technical and common sense techniques that can address this issue. I urge the FCC to issue a warning or fine as it may be appropriate."

Conclusions: Does verbally urging the government to take action actually work?


Problem Submitted Time: 6/6/2014 9:55:49 PM

City/State/Zip: Northridge, CA 91343

Network: Univision

Problem Description: "During soccer game

Every time Mexico plays and the opposing goal keeper takes a goal kick the audience yells P--O ( f---er) UNIVISION once again chooses not to bleep it out."

Conclusions: Another complaint where the "P" word is all caps but not its provided English translation. Is that how it works? I should ask the Rosetta Stone people.


Problem Submitted Time: 6/17/2014 1:05:41 AM

City/State/Zip: Lake Forest, CA 92630

Network: Univision

Problem Description: "This is something that happens on every soccer games where Mexico and a few other latin countries play. When the opposition goal keeper punts the ball out back into play, the crowd chats out "P----OOOO" or 'P--o' the slang equivalent for "F---it" in Spanish. Commentators have made comments about what the croud [sic] is saying without actually saying the word because they know its a bad word. But the network has the responsibility to eliminate the audio as that happens. They know exactly when it happens-every time the goalkeeper punts the ball. The fact that is in Spanish, is no excuse to broadcast this hateful/obscene word to the masses. The world cup has a far greater reach than the superbowl and yet the hate of ignorant expectators is being shared to not just viewers across the US but to a few other nations who are watching the same feed.

Thank you."

Conclusions: Another complaint from the Golden State. I sense a pattern here. Also, kudos for using the term "expectators" It's not as popular as it once was.


Problem Submitted Time: 6/23/2014 5:17:40 PM

City/State/Zip: Houston, TX 77086

Network: Univision

Problem Description: "When the opponents of the Mexican soccer team kick the ball, the Mexican fans scream out a homophobic slur in Spanish and Univision does not censor it."

Conclusions: Straight to the point, Houston. I like it.


Problem Submitted Time: 7/19/2015 9:28:08 PM

City/State/Zip: New Rochelle, NY 10801

Network: TV

Problem Description: "Every time my Family and I watch Mexico's soccer game, I have to stop and explain all children what the word P--O means. On all games every time the Goalie from the other team kicks the ball out, the people at the stadium yells out the word "P--O". P--O is semantically an Anti Gay slur. I don't think its appropriate to have that on TV. I think which ever cable station holds the rights for a Mexico game should mute the people."

Conclusions: Gather 'round, daddy's gonna do his best impression of George Carlin.


Problem Submitted Time: 7/1/2015 10:30:53 PM

City/State/Zip: Mount Holly, NC 28120

Network: Univision

Problem Description: "Univision fails to block the homophobic chant, "P--o" fans make against the goal keeper of the team playing against Mexican teams. This word is a very offensive homophobic word that should not be aired. Besides, unfortunately, it is very predictable, which makes Univision careless overlook of this issue even more unacceptable."

Conclusions: Careless overlook is one of the worst things you can do!

Category 4: Indecent exposure


Problem Submitted Time: 10/12/2012 9:07:19 PM

City/State/Zip: Houston, TX

Network: BeIn

Problem Description: "I saw an Antigua/Barbuda player's genitalia hanging out of his shorts. He was the only player wearing SHORT shorts and I have photographic evidence of these facts."

Conclusions: What's wrong with SHORT shorts? They're mobile. I have video evidence of these facts.


Problem Submitted Time: 10/28/2012 8:17:58 PM

City/State/Zip: Shelby Township, MI 48316

Network: Fox Sports

Problem Description: "At the end of the game, the camera was scanning the crowd and in the crowd a spectactor [sic] lifted her shirt exposing her entire breasts. This viewing was not a LIVE broadcast of the soccer game."

Conclusions: Sounds like "Shelby Township" has seen this before.


Problem Submitted Time: 7/9/2014 12:40:12 AM

City/State/Zip: Los Angeles, CA 90064

Network: NBC

Problem Description: "This was the regular nightly news. They showed indecent photos of a professional soccer player with only a soccer ball covering the groin area. In one photo they showed a full nude back side of the player."

Conclusions: The classic ball over groin trick. It could be worse.


Problem Submitted Time: 6/26/2015 9:05:28 AM

City/State/Zip: Rocklin, CA 95765

Network: ESPN

Problem Description: "I am so disappointed that ESPN showed photos being taken of a nude Kreiger. She was hardly covered with a soccer ball! They tried to make the story about her injuries but she did not need to be naked to do that. The music was sketchy too. It may have been "informative" but the under tone was seductive. My 9 year old soccer playing daughter was there and she asked if she would have to do that to play. If she did she would change her mind about playing. It was vile, inappropriate for daytime programming and cheap. Just cover the match."

Conclusions: #HotTakes #StickToSports

Remember folks, don't use slurs and keep your clothes on, nobody wants to see that anyway. Don't be profane, either. That's best left to the experts at Red Bull Rant.