New York City FC’s win over Columbus Crew SC, 1-0, on Monday night helped claw the team out of the Eastern Conference basement.
The game was played at Red Bull Arena, the usual home of City’s rival RBNY, as the team settles for playing at home away from home due to COVID-19.

The win wasn’t the main talking point on social media following the game, however. Nor was the game itself.

Many fans on social media took exception to the numerous NYCFC signs and large banners placed at both ends of the stadium, more specifically those in the South Ward – the Red Bulls Supporters Section.

The three standing room only sections were covered with tarps thanking front line workers, honoring those lost due to COVID-19, and three separate colored tarps that displayed that flag of New York City – something NYCFC uses often in its branding.

Multiple fans, including those associated with recognized supporters groups Viking Army and Empire SC, expressed disappointment and anger that the tarps and tifos were allowed.

“This just shows the… disrespect and disconnect this [front office] has with their SUPPORTERS. Get your [expletive} together #RBNY cause you just ripped my heart out. Fix this next match AND explain to us why this is even a fucking topic. We deserve answers and demand it.” said Kevin Stoke, a prominent face in both Viking Army and NYRB II’s Rampage SG.

The tweets went on as the original post showing the tarps continued to get radio-ed, with more fans including those not with either team voicing their opinions.

“The fact that they let them put their {expletive} over the South Ward is inexcusable.” 

There were also who found the situation humorous, including multiple City fans.

Colton Coreschi, a City fan and writer for Soc Takes, posted:

“Bummer we have to play there, but the #RBNY fan replies to this almost make it worth it.”

As for the Supporter’s Groups themselves, Viking Army’s three-word response on Twitter encapsulated how many fans felt.

Last week for the team’s game against NYCFC, Empire SC helped organize a fundraiser where fans could donate $5 and have a scarf hung from the South Ward – with the proceeds going to the SG itself to help cover the lost funds it’s been facing this season.

In total, the promotion raised $2,000 with the section being “sold out” for the first leg of the Hudson River Derby, which RBNY won 1-0. One fan who helped put those scarves up, @MetroCapo on Twitter, said in a post that he was told prior to the game “nothing would be in the South Ward.

He later said in an expletive-filled tweet that has been liked over 100 times at the time of writing.

The New York Red Bulls could not be reached for comment on the situation.

New York Sports Nation can confirm Viking Army has reached out to their front office representatives, but have no further updates at this time.

New York City returns to Red Bull Arena on August 29 to host the Chicago Fire, while the Red Bulls return home to play D.C. United four days later on September 2.

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