Former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death… I assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt is finding out firsthand why soccer supporters are the best fans in the world.
They’re more than avid fans who show up on gameday. They’re a community, a culture, a political movement.
In what other sport would one fan base unite with its rivals against an owner? In response to the news of Precourt potential moving the Columbus Crew to Austin, MLS fans are employing tactics more often seen in political campaigns.
This letter has been circulating among supporter groups ever since the news broke:
Not to mention the many other ways Columbus and MLS supporters are standing in solidarity…
Overwhelmed with all of the support from close to home and far away. Supporters will always stand up for other supporters. Thank you for putting our differences aside and taking a stand. #SAVETHECREW pic.twitter.com/EDRCOt0nco
— Hudson St. Hooligans (@HSHCrew) October 18, 2017
The #SAVETHECREW hashtag on Twitter has been flooded with support. In just 24 hours, thousands of comments have streamed through, all calling for the Columbus Crew to stay with its rightful home.
Will they stay? Will they go? Only time will tell.
But the actions of the past couple days have proven that the interconnectivity between soccer and civil society is as deep in the U.S. as it is throughout the globe.