The Columbus Crew beat Real Salt Lake, 2-0, Tuesday to make it through the first qualifying round of the U.S. Open Cup. But the fans were under almost as much scrutiny as the game after a YouTube clip from the Crew's weekend loss at home to New England highlighted a racial slur yelled from the crowd (not to mention plenty of obscenities) as the visitors celebrated their late winning goal.
Although the attendance was typically low for a midweek Open Cup game, the few thousand fans that showed up were "loud but less loutish," reports Shawn Mitchell. He said that members of two of the Crew's main supporters groups are close to identifying the fan who made the slurs, "and along with the front office are taking steps to keep him out of Crew Stadium."
"It's despicable," said Crew defender Danny O'Rourke. "To be playing for the team that is represented by that, well, that's not what we're about." The team's General Manager Mark McCullers added: "There are going to be people who drink too much and act stupid. We're going to catch them and we're going to deal with them. [The supporters' groups] are not going to tolerate it and they're going to be part of the solution."