Watching Seattle Sounders midfield Steve Zakuani crumple to the turf was bad enough for fans last night, but the aftermath of the injury was just as bad. In the heat of the moment, Brian Mullan came in late and high, sending Zakuani head-over-heels after the rash challenge. Though Mullan shed tears following the match, he also said the challenge was one he’s done hundreds of times before and would probably do again. It left Seattle fans angry and shocked by the reaction.
Over at Sounder at Heart, Dizzo wrote an open letter to Mullan, asking him to make it right. His “apology” was far from sincere, and Dizzo has a few suggestions as a public service to Mullan. It begins with making a real apology, not the classic non-apology he offered in the aftermath of Zakuani’s injury.
There is nothing you can do about us being angry about Zakuani’s injury. But there is something you can do about our perception of you as a soccer player and a human being.
So, here’s where the advice comes in. Get to a microphone as soon as possible and publicly apologize to Zakuani. Make it clear you own up to the injury you caused and won’t do the same in the future. The longer you wait the worse the blow-back from this whole thing is going to be.
Mullan is in the midst of a public relations mess. Players are condemning his actions, fans are upset and the league must take a good, hard look at his actions. Nothing will make it right or take the sting away from Zakuani’s injury. But a sincere apology and statement would go a long way. He owes it to Zakuani and to the fans.