USL Pro have had no option but to dismiss the case after an investigation yielded insufficient results to indict the club.
Richmond Kickers have been cleared of allegations of racism towards Orlando City SC player and Sporting Kansas City loanee Kevin Ellis.
A statement issued by United Soccer Leagues President Tim Holt said that USL Pro were “unable to positively confirm the allegations” and that “no disciplinary actions” have been taken following “thorough review”.
The issue originally arose on August 14th after the title-deciding matchup between Richmond Kickers and Orlando City. Ellis took to Twitter post-match and accused a section of Kickers fans of both insulting his deceased mother and making remarks of a racial nature.
“The Richmond Kickers want no part of that type of behaviour,” said Kickers head coach Leigh Cowlishaw. He added that whilst there is little doubt that “some insensitive comments were made” — a reference to Ellis’ mother — the club’s investigation, like the league’s, “found nothing of a racial nature.”
Ellis even engaged in a Twitter war of words with several fans who attended the game. The result of the discussions, now deleted, failed to bring any clarity to the issue.
Whilst all parties did indeed agree that remarks were definitely made about Ellis’ mother – however Kickers fans maintained that it was not meant to be malicious, rather it was generic banter which would be hurled at any player. They claimed to be unaware of Ellis’ mother’s recent passing, and apologised profusely.
The racist insults are not so clear cut, with some fans claiming nothing of the sort was spoken whilst others claimed they too heard what Ellis heard.
The USL PRO statement said the league “strongly condemns all forms of abuse and will not tolerate such from players, coaches or fans.”