An incident involving Columbus Crew and West Ham United fans during Sunday's exhibition between the two clubs at Crew Stadium again brought attention to the MLS team's hard-core supporters.
While Crew officials downplayed the incident that began when Hammer supporters entered a Crew fan section at halftime, it drew plenty of media coverage. "We didn't do anything to deserve this," said Mike Blankley of the Crew Union supporters group.
On May 24, Crew fans were involved in an incident in which objects were thrown at New England Revolution players and a fan uttered a racial slur at Revs rookie star Kheli Dube. "We consider ourselves some of the nicest guys out there," added Blankley, "but these isolated things are unfortunately starting to define us." Blankley blamed the trouble, which spilled over to the Crew Stadium concourse, on lax security.