Wednesday night with a 2-0 win over Orlando, the Richmond Kickers secured the USL PRO regular season crown. Sporting KC's Kevin Ellis and Christian Duke were both in the eighteen for Orlando.
Ellis tweeted after the match that he had been the subject of racial comments and taunting about his mother. Kevin's mother passed away a couple years ago. The tweet has since been deleted but this is the content of that tweet:
"Richmond your fans are trash sayin racial comments and talking about my mom who died 2 years ago is as low as you can get #congrats @USLPRO."
USL Pro issued a statement today about the incident:
USL has initiated an investigation into an alleged incident between Orlando City player Kevin Ellis and a small group of Richmond Kickers fans at Wednesday night's match at City Stadium in Richmond. League officials are working actively to gather information from various parties.
USL PRO and its clubs strongly condemn all forms of abuse and will not tolerate any such actions from its players, coaches, fans, or anyone in involved with the league.
Sporting KC fan Matthew Demlein lives in the Richmond area and attended the match with his family. "I heard nothing when I was in that section," explained Demlein. "Did I hear anti Orlando chants? Yes. Did I hear DC reject at Long Tan? Yes. Nothing about Ellis. Now to be fair, it supposedly happened at half. I was taking kids to the bathroom and moving to that section then."
Demlein not hearing anything does not mean that nothing happened; just that it was not widespread or sustained. If Ellis was the subject of these types of comments and there is no reason to doubt him, those fans in Richmond should be banned from attending future matches at the least. There is no place for those comments in the sport.
One caution to Sporting Kansas City fans and others around the country, some scumbags crossing the line in Richmond is not an indictment of all fans in Richmond. There are lowlifes everywhere, even Kansas City. While it is rare and getting rarer, I still occasionally hear comments yelled out of the members stand that cross the line of acceptable comments.