Loudoun United fans have returned to Segra Field, but that may not be purely a good thing.
Following the Loudoun’s 2-1 home opening loss Tuesday night, New York Red Bulls captain Mandela Egbo, who scored the night’s winning goal on a penalty kick, reported that fans were shouting racist monkey chants at Black players on his team during the match.
The USL Championship league and Loudoun United are investigating the claims, with the promise of a lifetime ban to be imposed if code of conduct violations are found.
“One of our young strikers kept his ultimate cool when monkey chants were aimed at him by these same section of fans behind the goal. I would hope that audio from the whole second half’s footage is being listened to very very closely by the powers that be,” Egbo wrote in a tweet.
On Wednesday, USL and Loudoun United issued a joint statement: “Loudoun United FC have been made aware of the social media post from a member of New York Red Bulls II citing offensive and discriminatory chanting from a specific section of fans in attendance at last night’s match. Loudoun United FC do not condone any form of offensive or discriminatory language or behavior from any fan association with our club and thank the member of Red Bulls II for bringing awareness to this. The club are working diligently to investigate the situation and will act swiftly and firmly as this behavior is in direct conflict with our Segra Field Code of Conduct. Any fan in attendance found to be involved in this matter will be held accountable for their abhorrent behavior and served lifetime ban from all future Loudoun United FC matches and events at Segra Field.”
A crowd of 710 spectators were reported at the 5,000-seat stadium Tuesday night. The incident was reported to have occurred in a section behind the goal where the home team’s fan club, Loudoun Stampede, gathers.
That group also issued a statement Wednesday: “Last night, NYRB2’s club captain, Mandela Egbo, tweeted claims that a young striker heard monkey noises targeted at him from behind the goal during the 2nd half of the match at Segra Field. While we do not fill the entire section, the Loudoun Stampede does gather behind that goal and we were present last night. We take this claim seriously and not only condemn such racist behavior, we will work Loudoun United and the USL investigation to ban fans that conducted themselves in such a manner. While we believe this to be a case of misinterpretation, we welcome an investigation because if true, this would represent heinous behavior that has no place in our beloved game nor in the values that we represent. We ask that anyone who heard such noises please reach out here or send email to Doug Rogers (email@example.com) with any details.”