The past week has been a back and forth between Minnesota United and the Wonderwall over the Iron Front ban. On Tuesday the Wonderwall released a statement given to them by club officials banning the Iron Front symbol outright from Allianz Field.
The statement read “On Sept 9, we were informed by MNUFC officials about a unilateral, heavy-handed, ban of the iron front symbol from Allianz Field, the ban includes not only flags and banners but clothing and patches worn by individuals. We’ve reached out to representatives of the Front Office requesting a meeting for clarification, but at this time we have received no response. Wonderwall strongly believes in the rights of our individual members to express themselves and their beliefs. It is the passion of the individuals that collectively creates the passion for the team, which the team is more than happy to market and monetize.”
“Long before Minnesota United or MLS came on the scene, Minnesota soccer supporters advocated for a full-throated embrace of anti bigotry. This campaign continues today and should MNUFC and MLS continue their attempts to stifle it, supporters will be silent in the stands. With that in mind we call on Minnesota United, and for that matter Major League Soccer, to rescind the banning of the Iron Front symbolism, and embrace the right of individual expression within Allianz, or to immediately terminate the use of our supporters groups, images of our section, videos of us cheering on the team in promotional materials. Our members are more than just marketing material.”
Later that day the Wonderwall also released an update on the situation “Update, the evening of Sept 10, front office officials have reached out to schedule a meeting to discuss this. Our organization will make sure our voices are heard and the message will be clear, we will continue to advocate for our Supporters Groups and our members to express themselves as they’ve done long before the team was Minnesota United and the league was MLS.”
After the club and Wonderwall supporter’s groups met another statement was released by the Wonderwall with Minnesota United clarifying their position on the Iron Front ban.
“On Thursday, September 12, Wonderwall members and front office personnel for Minnesota United held a meeting about the team’s enforcement of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Fan Code of Conduct specifically seeking clarification on MLS’ ban on political language and behavior; and ensuring that a clear, effective and open channel of communication remains in place between the organization and its independent supporters.”
“During this meeting, the team clarified that MLS has banned Iron Front displays and large format images (flags, banners, tifo) and the ban does not extend to personal clothing or insignia, as initially understood. MNUFC will not prohibit or enforce the removal of Iron Front symbolism from individuals’ clothing, in accordance with the rest of MLS Clubs.”
“Wonderwall will always support the rights of our affiliated supporters groups and individuals to express themselves freely on topics that they deem to be important. This includes the strenuous opposition to MLS’ ban on the Iron Front symbol and their definition of political language which is supported by all affiliated SGs. We look forward to progress being made between Major League Soccer and the Independent Supporters Council during their discussions on September 19, 2019.”
“With the team back at Allianz Field this weekend, Wonderwall would like to remind everyone that threatening or abusive behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.”
Jeff Reuter of The Athletic reached out to the club and also received this statement from the team regarding the Iron Front ban, which seems to be their definitive answer of what they will be doing.
NEWS: I reached out to the #MNUFC front office for clarification on #WWMN’s update after Thursday night’s meeting. Here’s the club’s response regarding the Iron Front symbol on clothing: pic.twitter.com/hjNiCRJjnO— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) September 13, 2019
While this probably will not put an end to the Iron Front debate at MNUFC or Major League Soccer as a whole, the clarification is out there on what Minnesota United will and will not enforce as far as a ban on the symbol.