Last night the Richmond Kickers clinched the USL-Pro regular season title at home with a 2-0 win over Sporting KC affiliate, Orlando City. Two Sporting KC players, Christian Duke and Kevin Ellis participated in the match.
After the game though, Ellis took to Twitter with some frustrations regarding comments by fans in Richmond that were directed at him. From a since deleted Tweet, Ellis said: "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."
From the comments of a friend who was at the game, he didn't hear anything that specifically came from the Richmond supporters' group, but this is a very serious claim by Ellis about what is hopefully a very small minority of Richmond fans.
Today, the USL Pro released a statement regarding Ellis' claims. The release doesn't specifically mention what types of comments were directed towards Ellis, just that they are investigating an "alleged incident."
If punishment does come down on those that made the comments, I hope it is harsh. There's no place in the game for comments like that, especially racial ones. Cheer your team, cheer against the opposition, but leave that sort of shit out of the game.
UPDATE - According to first hand accounts from other fans in with the Richmond supporters, there were chants about Ellis' mother along with the mothers of all the players warming up. According to one person in the stands, Ellis turned around and said "I will kill you if you say something again."
While the mom chants may be inconsiderate to Ellis, who lost his mother two years ago, I think Ellis' comments, if true are a step over the line as well. As a professional athlete, you have to accept some chants at you from opposing teams.
The bigger issue for me in all of this was the claims of racism by Ellis. Those that were there said that they didn't hear any comments regarding racism at least in the organized fashion.