Last weekend at the Home Depot Center as Houston prepared to play the LA Galaxy, a few fans took it upon themselves to heckle Brian Ching concerning Bob Bradley's decision to leave him off the World Cup roster. Whatever inspired these "fans" to heckle Ching with the chant of "US reject" is beyond me and is a prime example of people going to far.
Heckling, for better or worse, is part of sports and while athletes must learn early on to deal with it, that doesn't mean that you can't still cross a line. Considering the fact that Brian Ching has helped the USMNT qualify for two World Cups and probably only missed out on this year's roster due to an injury, the act of rubbing salt in that wound is just plain classless.
By now, anyone with any interest in the story has chimed in and said their peace and while we've heard from Ching, writers and fans, I decided to reach out to one of Brian Ching's teammates for their opinion on the incident.
So I got in touch with Dynamo fullback Mike Chabala and asked him for his thoughts about the treatment of the team's captain.
DT: When did you hear about the chants and what was your initial reaction?
MC: I believe [the story] was on the front page of Yahoo and then I actually followed with some of my teammates and that's when I learned about it. My initial reaction was what a bunch of classless individuals, but at the same time it's not like we expect to go in to any stadium and expect them to be clapping for us and rooting us on.
DT: What is the feeling around the locker room about the chants?
MC: We've been off the past couple days and with me being out the past week I wasn't around to hear the comments, but from what I've heard from a few people since, nobody was happy about it.
DT: What is your reaction personally to the incidents?
MC: The fact that people would say something like that...after all the guy has done for the national team. Obviously, [fans] will say what you want about guys. At the end of the day we'll smile and laugh about cause that's just the way it is, that's sports and it's what fans do. But at the same time, I was disappointed.