MLS has fined Houston forward Brian Ching $500 for his criticism of the referees through Twitter. Ching took exception to the controversial goal given to Seattle in last week's Sounders-Dynamo match, and spoke out against the referees via the social network.
Quite the sign of the times. I was somewhat shocked to see Ching be so public with his displeasure when it came across my feed, and I'm not quite sure he realized the ramifications.
Ching's offending tweet:
"Ref in seattle just cheated the dynamo. What a joke. Not even close. Ref is a cheat"
Ching apologized for his comment, again via twitter, the next day.
"Look i made a rash comment yesterday. I dont know who the ref was. I didnt understand how someone could all a goal when it wasnt 100% clear"
"I apologize for the comment which i made in the heat of the moment. Everyone tries their best and mistakes happen."
It looks like someone (probably with Houston's front office) let Ching know that his comments weren't appropriate and that the league wouldn't be too keen on them.
It's hard to argue with Ching's feelings if you saw the match (or just the offending goal), though MLS is forced to fine him; criticisms of the refs by players is a sticky proposition, and no matter the form they come in, shouldn't be encouraged by inaction.
What do you think? Is the fine fair?