New England Soccer Today

The Fort Protests

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Sunday night bore witness to a strange sight at Gillette Stadium. Section 143, known as “The Fort”, sat silently for 16 minutes before exiting the stadium in protest triggered by what many in the group felt was unfair treatment at a June 18th New England Revolution match against the Chicago Fire.

The Fort, typically the loudest section in the stadium filled with fans that chant and sing together throughout the match, came dressed mostly in black on Sunday, with many wearing custom “Support the Fort” t-shirts and sat in silence after the game began. Sixteen minutes later they filed out of the stadium together.

The team’s three most prominent supporters groups, the Midnight Riders, the Rebellion and the Revs Army drafted a letter explaining their actions. According to the letter:

“During [the June 18th] match, Revolution officials with assistance from members of Team Ops and the Town of Foxborough Police Department acted to stop the use of a particular chant, one directed at opposing team goalkeepers during goal kicks. In part due to unnecessary provocations on the part of some fans and the aforementioned parties, a number of supporters were ejected, detained, arrested and ultimately banned from returning to Gillette Stadium. In the process, supporters were subjected to bullying, antagonism, intimidation, threats, and potential civil rights violations.”

Revolution supporters were subsequently invited to a meeting at Gillette Stadium featuring Revolution Chief Operating Officer Brian Bilello, as well as representation from the Foxborough Police, MLS and TeamOps, the organization that does security at Gillette Stadium. The meeting, however, was not enough to appease the grievances of some of the Revs most diehard fans.

In their letter, the supporters groups argue similar incidents have occurred throughout the club’s sixteen year history and have yet to be properly addressed. The sixteenth minute walkout was meant to recognize “16 seasons of (as yet) unresolved issues between fans and the Revolution organization,” according to the letter.

The June 18th incident started with an apparent crackdown on swearing in The Fort reportedly after complaints from some supporters in other sections of the stadium. The incident has received nationwide attention with other club’s supporters groups holding demonstrations in support.

The letter looked to make clear the protests were not targeted at the players, coaches or technical staff.


  1. Billy

    July 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm


  2. Mary Ellen

    July 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I was present in the Fort that night. I was very upset by what was happening around me. I had bought A 6 ticket package and choose to sit in the Fort because of the chanting, etc. To sit anywhere else is dull.
    The whole night left a bad taste in mouth and I do wish the Revs the best But I have no intentions of returning to Foxboro. GO Breakers! They want us.

  3. Icedcorn

    July 18, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Here’s everyone walking out:

  4. Mareti

    August 13, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I support the Revolution, MLS and Foxborough police to curb cursing, especially organized cursing, at the games. The same has helped to improve the atmosphere at footballs games at Gilette.

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