Update 8:37 p.m.: A trusted source reached out to Massive Report to give some potential insight on what Hejduk has been dealing with over the last year. Said source, who asked to remain anonymous, said Frankie was told if he put out anything negative or got involved with the Save The Crew movement, his paycheck could be jeopardy. This is not an excuse for Hejduk’s actions but rather a reason for potential pent up frustration that might have come out on Wednesday afternoon.
Frankie Hejduk is a Columbus Crew SC legend, there’s no disputing that. He played for the Black & Gold from 2003-2010 and captained the club to its first and only MLS Cup championship in 2008. Shortly after his retirement in 2012, Hejduk took a job in Crew SC’s front office as the team’s Brand Ambassador.
In short, Hejduk has been an important part of Columbus’ history and present.
When Crew SC investor/operator Anthony Precourt announced last October the possibility of relocating the team to Austin, Texas, all of those involved with the Black & Gold were shook and Hejduk was no exception. After being the constant face of the organization for so long — showing up at tailgates, watch parties, giving out tickets around Columbus as well as his normal game day duties — Hejudk has been noticeably less present than usual. Last season, he was out at practice frequently, even working with the team similarly to an additional coach. This year, not once.
The exception has been on Twitter where the former defender continues to put out filtered images and express his discontent with anyone who dared to say anything negative about the team. On Wednesday afternoon, Hejduk took things too far with his Twitter opinions.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Hejduk went on a rant, responding to a tweet by former Crew SC Brand Journalist Alex Stec. Stec, who worked for the team from May of 2015 until August of 2018, put out a tweet, doing her new job of social media manager for FC Cincinnati. Hejduk replied with a series of tweets calling Stec “fake” and a “traitor.”
Stec left Crew SC at least in part due to the uncertainty of the team, which still has no resolution to the potential relocation. Unlike Hejduk, who played professional soccer from 1996 to 2011 and spent five years playing in Europe, most Crew SC employees are waiting for an answer to this ongoing saga to find out if they will have jobs. Many have left for employment elsewhere with more security. Assuming he has handled his money the right way, Hejduk would be able to sustain the team moving and losing his job.
Many on Twitter suggested that Hejduk’s account was hacked and that’s the only way he would attack a former coworker for making a decision to further her career, but that appears not to be the case. Hejduk responded to Massive Report’s Sam Fahmi that he was not hacked and he was done with “Jumpshippers.”
After saying a goodbye to Twitter (“I’ll see you soon”), Hejduk’s account has been deactivated and any record of his tweets are gone.
Hejduk is no doubt an important part of Crew history and it’s understandable that he, like fans and other employees, was hurt by the decision to possibly move the team. But Hejduk had no right or reason to attack Stec for making a decision to ensure she had a job beyond the end of the season, a decision many have made this year.
Maybe next time, send a tweet to the person who got all of Crew SC in this mess, Anthony Precourt, and question why he has decided to “jump ship.”