Big news coming from Wednesday. Los Unikos is no longer a Reno 1868 FC supporters group. This news comes before Reno’s first 2019 playoff game. Reno 1868 FC will be taking on Sacramento Republic FC as the Donner Pass Derby heads to the playoffs.
I was not surprised by this news. I had heard from the Douglas Alley Renegades a few matches back that they were no longer an official supporters group. It did not like they ever met the minimum membership (which I believe was 50 people). They didn’t look like they had grown since the beginning of the season. Towards the end of the season there were games where they didn’t show up. One game they didn’t show up in favor of going to a Mexican national team match or watching a Liga MX match. That behavior is not new though for this group. There was at least one game where they were with the Battle Born Brigade. The signs of them no longer being a Reno 1868 FC supporters group were there and had been for a while.
This is their official statement on the situation:
The first part is just letting people know that they will no longer be at Reno 1868 FC games.
The next part is about a proposal from the front office to get Los Unikos back with the Battle Born Brigade. I think that proposing getting the groups back together was the best move from the front office. It protects the front office from losing sales. I understand why the Battle Born Brigade denied the proposal. When the two groups were together there was a lot of drama. There were constant disagreements between both groups. Los Unikos also caused a lot of drama on behalf of the Battle Born Bridge.
I do think that the relationship between the groups played a factor as well. I don’t know what the relationship was like between the groups after the split. I wasn’t in the supporter group meetings. I’m not in leadership for any of the groups. I assume that they were professional in meetings and around each other. I know that some of the Battle Born Bridge leadership was happy that they were gone. I think that at best the relationship between the Battle Born Brigade and Los Unikos was professional. I think that both groups put up with each other but neither group likes the other one. I think there are people in both groups that like each other and people who don’t. My main reason for thinking this is that there were no bridges built between the supporter groups during the season. I think cultural issues might have played a role in that, but I don’t think either group liked each other.
The next thing mentioned in the statement is that Los Unikos no longer has their section for the rest of this year or be able to have it next year. To me this is dumb on the part of the front office. That’s twenty plus tickets that the team is losing. The team is already having attendance issues and I don’t think that this helps. I think that Los Unikos should have their section for the playoffs. Even though they haven’t been the most supportive group they have supported the team since day one. Then give them criteria for next season that needs to be met by the first match. If the requirement is 50 members tell them they need 100 season ticket holders. Something that would benefit the club, and be difficult to get that way they prove that they want it.
The next part starts by saying that they helped build the Battle Born Brigade. While this is an accurate statement it is s a little misleading. They are a lot of people who have worked (for nothing) for years to help get the brigade where it is today. All of Los Unikos help to make the Battle Born Brigade what is went out the window the moment they decided to split off from the group.
In part two of that they say that this whole thing was an act of discrimination against their group. I don’t think any of this is though. Los Unikos has decided in the past and this season that has gotten the group to this point. They are losing their section because of their actions in failing to meet what the front office set as requirements for all supporter’s groups. Them not being accepted back into the Battle Born Brigade is because of their previous actions in the group. I don’t think it’s a situation where they split and the Battle Born Brigade won’t accept them just because they split.
In part three of that they say that they will continue to support other teams in our area and “creating our Latin environment”. I think it’s good if they can stay together and support other teams in our area. I think this Latin thing is just them trying to build off of the idea that they were discriminated against. Los Unikos aren’t the only Latin people that support Reno 1868 FC. The Battle Born Brigade has Latin People. There are other Latin people in the stands. Losing Los Unikos doesn’t mean that Reno 1868 FC are losing Latin fans.
They finish off the statement by thanking everyone who has supported them. Overall, I think the first half of the statement is fine. I don’t like the second half. The second half has a lot of misinformation. I think the second half is largely baiting people into being against the Battle Born Brigade and Reno 1868 FC. They are diffidently not taking responsibility for their actions or inactions with this statement. I don’t the blame is only on one group here. I think that Los Unikos are the most to blame for why this happened but the blame is shared with the front office and the Battle Born Brigade. I think it’s like 80% 15% 5%. I think if the brigade tried to build bridges with them that could have helped. I think the front office could have handle the situation better as well and could have turned it into a positive for them (through more ticket sales). Also doing this now is the worst time because we should be getting hyped for the playoffs not creating drama.
I am sad to see them leave, but in the way of like being disappointed. I’m not heartbroken that Los Unikos is gone. Some of them are my friends. I have known most of them since Reno 1868 FC played San Jose back in 2017. If they no longer come to the games I’m going to miss them. It’s always disappointing as well to see a supporters group not work out. It hurts the team. In this case it also hurt the community around the team by creating unnecessary drama.
Apparently, there was discussion about Los Unikos joining the Battle Born Brigade for 2020. That discussion was prior to Los Unikos released their statement or any of this drama happening.