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In The New York Times today is a chronicle of Major League Soccer's efforts to curtail vulgar chanting at their games in a balancing act between appeasing fan intensity and trying not to offend potential new audiences. At the heart of the matter is a specific phrase, often yelled at a goalie during goal kicks. Here's the Times adorably trying to explain it without having to write it:

The three-word chant, known as the Y.S.A. chant, is a more vulgar expression of “You suck, jerk.”

Evan Dabby, whose job at MLS is to liaise with fan groups described the chant as "neither passionate nor spontaneous," and is using various methods to incentivize its eradication, and that effort has proved polarizing among fans. While MLS has told teams to deal with the issue on their own, the league's governing body may soon be forced to take greater action, especially considering that their TV broadcast deals expire after the next season. The Times recalls that:

when [the Seattle Sounders] were hosting Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field, a different organized and profane chant was clearly audible over the TV broadcast and Internet streams. During the game, some Salt Lake fans took to social media to point out that this seemed problematic.

While YSA continues to cause problems for Major League Soccer, teams like the New York Red Bulls have started offering financial rewards to groups that refrain from rude language. others have compared that program to bribery and refuse to take part. At one game, a club held up a banner that read "Not for sale."


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