Beckham Unapologetic After Confronting Fans

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
Former England captain David Beckham of AC Milan reacts  during an exhibition soccer match against  Al Sadd club, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, March 4, 2009. (AP Photo / Udayan Nag)

Former England captain David Beckham of AC Milan reacts during an exhibition soccer match against Al Sadd club, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, March 4, 2009. (AP Photo / Udayan Nag)

CARSON, Calif. -- David Beckham offered no explanations or apologies for the way he confronted an angry group of Los Angeles Galaxy fans.

"It's not a setback for myself. It's other people that have to change," Beckham said Thursday after practice. "It's not about whether I can move on. I wasn't the one booing."

Beckham confronted Galaxy fans in a group called the L.A. Riot Squad during Sunday night's 2-2 exhibition tie with AC Milan.

Members of the Riot Squad booed and jeered him during the game and displayed banners saying, "Go Home Fraud" and "Is Evil Something You Are or Something You Do?"

"Of course, I don't like my son seeing that and hearing that," Beckham said. "From an organized group of fans, I think it was disrespectful."

At halftime, Beckham walked toward the group while shouting and pointing. He challenged fans to meet him on the field and tried to lift himself over advertising boards before security intervened. Police arrested a fan who left the stands.

Then after a second-half corner kick in front of the Riot Squad's section, Beckham immediately turned to those fans, put his index finger to his lips, shrugged his shoulders and blew them a kiss. The kick resulted in a goal.

"At the end of the day, I play my game," Beckham said. "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 blamed Beckham for agitating the situation in a statement on the group's Web site Thursday.

"Had David responded differently on Sunday, the booing and the chanting probably would have ended at halftime," the statement read in part. "We don't believe questioning Beckham's commitment to our team is over the line, but it's clear that David feels otherwise."

Galaxy fans have been angry about Beckham's public desire to stay with AC Milan beyond March, the original end of his loan. Both clubs and Major League Soccer negotiated a deal to let Beckham stay until the end the Serie A season.

Beckham also was recently criticized in the book, "The Beckham Experiment" for not giving his full effort during the final half of last season.

"We want to support David," the Riot Squad's statement continued. "We will almost certainly end the booing and chanting when Beckham plays in his first MLS match in our stadium, but it is ultimately up to David.

"If [he] shows the evident disinterest he did at the end of last season, or if he provokes us further, we might have something more to say to him."

Beckham was recently criticized in the book, "The Beckham Experiment" by Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan for not giving his full effort during the final half of last season.

Donovan said Thursday that he doesn't expect to see Beckham as a late addition to the MLS All-Star roster for the July 29 game against Everton.

Beckham has played in only two games with the Galaxy this summer since returning from a five-month loan to AC Milan.

"There's a lot of guys that have been here from minute one and worked very hard to get this honor," Donovan said. "And I don't think if asked that he would necessarily want to be on the team because he's a pretty honest guy. He works hard and he knows that a lot of guys deserve this."


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
KOLO-TV 4850 Ampere Drive Reno, NV 89502
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 51538492