Ahead of Atlanta United’s first-ever meeting with Orlando City on Friday, momentum is building for the start of a new rivalry in Major League Soccer. On Tuesday, a billboard was purchased by the team in Orlando to advertise the first meeting between the two Southeastern clubs.
It was a friendly jab to stir conversation in the rivalry and it did just that. Unfortunately, things have gone too far already in some small corners of the community. As reported by WFTV in Orlando, at least one Atlanta United fan has been seen on Facebook making a horrendous joke about the Pulse nightclub tragedy that occurred over a year ago.
It’s clear to see that the actions of a few have attempted to spoil what was a fun build-up to what should be a very entertaining rivalry.
Atlanta United has issued this official statement regarding their policy on what is and is not acceptable fan behavior:
As has always been our policy, Atlanta United strongly condemns the use of offensive or derogatory language under any circumstances. Our club is committed to providing a positive and inclusive environment for all fans. Insensitive or disrespectful comments are well outside the bounds of friendly competition, are harmful to the spirit of the game and have no place in our sport or our communities.