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Jun 26, 17

Minnesota Soccer Fans Made a Banner for Philando Castile – And Got Banned

Mill City Ultras, a group of supporters of the Minnesota United soccer team, which describes itself as:

A left-wing working class Ultras group, passionately following Minnesota United! With people from every walk of life, against racism, homophobia, etc. Pro beer!

According to the group, on June 24th they made a “tifo” (a banner to be displaced at soccer matches) in support of Minnesota resident Philando Castile, an African-American man who was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Recently, the police officer who murdered him was let off without any charges.

In response for displaying the banner, the officials at Minnesota United FC took the banner and banned the group from displaying it during the match. From the group’s Facebook:

Below is a tifo we painted for tonight’s game with the Vancouver Whitecaps showing our support and anger for the injustice of Philando Castiles murder and also our support for Grenfell Tower and the tragedy there.

We naively thought Minnesota United FC would feel the same, that most people in this state were angered, upset and hurt by the outcome of an officer getting away with murder….. we were wrong!

We might be an independent [supporters group] SG, and we’ve always been upfront that we will stay that way, we might not matter all that much to the club officials or FO, we are a new smaller group after all, we are aware some people look down on us as upstarts despite having many nationalities within our ranks who having been following this sport in many countries all our life’s and ex members of other SGs. We’re sure some people will be critical of this status….. So be it,we know where you stand!

We know the club won’t respond to us…. mostly due to the fact we refused to become official even when offered. We’ve dealt this season with coming up against ridiculous rules…most recently with being refused to hang a pride flag at the front of our section on pride night. Excuses were made and we were made aware rightly or wrongly how stringent MNUFC were with hanging banners at the front of sections ( you know…unlike EVERYWHERE else in the world and at most other MLS clubs). This time NO EXCUSES CAN BE MADE…. not from club officials, not from other SGs…. tonight the club wouldn’t let us fly this tifo, they wouldn’t let us bring it into the stadium and said tifo was taken from us!

We urge other SG members and fans to start asking questions of the club, to ask why fans weren’t allowed in the supporters section to fly a tifo in memory of a local man murdered because of the colour of his skin and racial features and to PLEASE feel free to share this status…. because we won’t be letting this one go!

After the incident, members of Mill City Ultras went on a local radio station to talk about the incident.

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