Beckham fined $1,000 by MLS for conduct toward L.A. Galaxy fan
David Beckham's highly publicized run-in with his own club's fans has earned the soccer superstar a $1,000 fine by Major League Soccer.
MLS commissioner Don Garber fined Beckham for confronting a members of the L.A. Riot Squad, a group of hardcore Los Angeles Galaxy fans that booed Beckham through much of last Sunday's match against AC Milan at the Home Depot Center.
At halftime of the match, the former England captain walked over to the group and challenged jeering fans to meet him on the field. Beckham then attempted to jump over a advertising barrier toward the crowd. He was held back by security personnel, which also restrained an angry fan who left his seat and rushed towards Beckham. Police arrested the fan who left the stands.
"We support our players interacting with fans, whether it is at clinics, charity events or by high-fiving their supporters in the stands while celebrating a goal," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "However, our players should never engage in conduct that can be interpreted as encouraging fans to come out of the stands and onto the field, regardless of the reason."
Beckham wasn't thrilled with his less-than-friendly reception during his first home game since returning from his loan spell at AC Milan, telling CNN "you can't be liked by everybody" after the confrontation.
"At the end of the day I play my game, whether I get booed or not doesn't matter to me, " Beckham said to the Press Association. " [But] I don't like my sons seeing that and hearing that, and my family, from an organized group of fans. I think it was disrespectful, some of the things that were being said and also some of the banners.
"To be honest all I'm going to do is play my football, if it's not good enough for some people, as long as it's good enough for myself and the team nothing else matters."
The Riot Squad booed Beckham every time he touched the ball and held aloft banners reading "Go Home Fraud" and "Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here after You, Here Despite You."
In a statement on its Web site, the group blamed Beckham for agitating the situation. "Had David responded differently on Sunday, the booing and the chanting probably would have ended at halftime," the statement said. "We don't believe questioning Beckham's commitment to our team is over the line, but it's clear that David feels otherwise."
Beckham's next match with the Galaxy is Saturday in Kansas City. Los Angeles' next MLS match at home isn't until Aug. 15.