This is to clarify my tweet to NWSL about smoke at Portland Thorns’ home games.
I sent the tweet to NWSL because by the shots shown on Portland’s YouTube broadcast it appeared that the smoke was in the stands with fans. It was a simple question about the rules, which state flares/smoke by fans is strictly prohibited.
Their reply was that it was part of Portland’s game day atmosphere, under the control of Portland. I mistakenly took that as Portland was choosing to violate the rules. If you follow Merritt Paulson on twitter, you might understand why I thought this to be the case. As it turns out that is not the case. The smoke is set off from a capo stand by the supporters group. It is not set off by a fan and is not in the stands.
I know this to be the case because some level-headed members of their supporters group, Rose City Riveters, took the time to explain it to me. Unfortunately, all the snark and “Portland hater” tweets and subtweets did not explain the process to me.
I don’t hate on teams/players/supporters groups. I have my favorites and I have those I do not like. If I don’t like something I usually state that fact and leave it at that. Occasionally I digress into snark, but not very often.
To me this whole experience is just indicative of how quick people are to look for the worst on twitter. I’ve been guilty of it a time or two, but I try not to be that way. I support the league and the teams in it. I don’t always like the league and I have teams I don’t like, but I hate neither.
I hope this helps some to understand that my question did not arise out of hate, but a concern for safety and adhering to the rules.
If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to use the comments.