Although Columbus Crew SC hasn’t taken the pitch since March 7, due to the coronavirus outbreak, you still can’t help falling in love with the Crew... ownership, that is. Dee and Jimmy Haslam, founders of the Haslam Sports Group, announced a plan on Monday to pledge $1.5 million to COVID-19 relief funds across the state of Ohio. The $1.5 million will be allocated between the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, where the Haslam family owns and operated the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, and the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.
“We are humbled by the tremendous work of people around the world in their efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 and we wanted to try to positively impact those affected in our own communities of Cleveland and Columbus,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “We are grateful for the individuals who are putting others before themselves and for the sacrifices they are making.”
This is another example of the stark contrast between absentee owner Anthony Precourt, who was the investor-operator of the club from 2012-2019, and current ownership partners, the Haslam family and Pete Edwards, and this continues to be evident even in the most of trying of times. While Precourt literally attempted to separate the Crew from Columbus, the Haslams and Edwards have spent their time as owners repairing and strengthening the bonds between the Black & Gold and the community of Columbus, Ohio.
From cosmetic touch-ups to MAPFRE Stadium, the construction of the downtown stadium Crew fans have been longing for, club record signings like Lucas Zelarayan, the announcement of the state-of-the-art OhioHealth Performance Center, to the massively acclaimed jersey sponsor partnership with Nationwide and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the new ownership group has been hard at work investing in both the club and community in ways Columbus had never seen under prior regimes.
This all comes in the wake of the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Mike DeWine as the state of Ohio attempts to combat the coronavirus.
Both the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund work with local non-profit organizations responding with the rapid spread of the virus across their respective communities. As the coronavirus’ rapid spread continues, and the state continues to respond, the financial strain on non-profits continue to mount, and generous donations such as these are critical.
For more information on the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, and how you can help - click here. And for more information on the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, and how you can help - click here.
The Crew remains unable to practice or play as Major League Soccer is on hiatus due to the outbreak. MLS will not resume play until, at the earliest, May 10 and players are unable to practice as a team until at least March 27.