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Rantz: Some Sounders fans heroically, bravely fought Nazis at playoff game

Not all heroes wear capes, but they do fly over-sized Iron Front flags, co-opted by Antifa, in their self-righteous effort to fight off Nazis. A group of these Antifa-supporting freedom fighters, in fact, fought them off ahead of and during this past weekend’s Sounders game and I totally witnessed it.

Rantz: Fringe Sounders fans stage walkout in support of Antifa thugs

Let me set the stage: It was a wet, late-Saturday morning as members of the Emerald City Supporters (ECS) group, fresh off of their attempts to get a Seattle Times columnist fired for condemning Antifa violence and anti-cop rhetoric, when they marched towards CenturyLink like troops storming the beaches of Normandy.

Only these privileged fans had much more to lose if they don’t come back after battle: Moderately-priced season tickets, Subaru Foresters, IPAs, and access to Twitter memes.

As they marched to the stadium, there was nary a Nazi in sight, undoubtedly scared off by the group of middle-age, mostly white dudes in Patagonia shirts and cargo pants. I mean, there have never been Nazis there before — just one weekend when half a dozen Proud Boys and conservative provocateurs marched with an American flag — but still. This is what bravery looks like.

Once they got in, though, the fighting got real in a valiant effort that will earn these ECS members a statue erected in their honor — or at least a free concession stand pretzel!

I sat in the press box to watch the game, as a pair of trolls whispered my name (“That’s Jason Rantz! What’s he doing here?”) and coordinated with their buddies to claim that I am a hypocrite for showing up, despite my annoyance at MLS lifting a ban on flying Antifa flags.

Granted, I said “I will continue to go to games and root for the team and my favorite players” in the story they’re misquoting, but, to be fair, can we truly expect that they focus on basic reading comprehension when burdened with a fight against literal Nazis?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why are these fans going to a match when the area is under siege by literal Nazis? Why would they take time out of their fight to rid the world of Nazis and fascists (which they consider cops and all conservatives to be)?

I admit I wondered that too. But, you see, it’s waving of the Iron Front flag that was doing the fighting. So it’s actually an efficient use of time — fighting Nazis and watching a sport they love! That is rather brilliant.

To be fair, I didn’t see any of the Nazis they were fighting, though a friend and I saw what we thought was a mild disagreement over who would actually wave the Iron Front flag. But, again, nary a Nazi in sight and I specifically credit the flag waving.

Sure, there weren’t Nazis at CenturyLink during the months where the flag was banned (though a fan called a Sounders staffer a “fascist” when he coordinated the removal of a flag being flown during the ban), still, there were bath faith concerns from reactionaries pretending there’s a fight to actually embrace fascists at the stadium.

After Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins detailed the controversies behind the Iron Front flag, ECS members and supporters demanded the Times stop printing him, with a Tacoma-based teacher pretending Calkins was promoting actual fascists. So, they had to be keenly aware of their surroundings.

What’s especially important to point out is that without these heroes, we’d probably be overrun with Nazis. Sure, it’s the cops, which Antifa members call “fascist pigs,” that are actually going after the small but dangerous numbers of local white supremacists. But let’s be clear: Those cops aren’t displaying the Iron Front logo so can we actually say they’re fighting Nazis? I think not.

So let us take time out of our week to reflect on the heroism of these fans. What they do is not easy; it’s rather thankless work. But I should thank them. They’re fighting to protect me, a Jew, from Nazis. ‘

Sure, they sometimes call me a Nazi for not supporting violence against political opponents, but still, they’re doing it for my own good and without them, where would we be? Able to simply enjoy a sport we love without having to deal with politics being shoehorned into an event? That’s no fun.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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