It's been a difficult year for the Fire on and off the pitch so far. A recent charitable event took a frightening turn last month.
During the Fire's Habitat for Humanity service on April 20 two shootings occurred in the vicinity of the West Pullman site in which the team was working. The incidents occurred within a matter of hours of each other that morning and one person was injured during the first shooting. Although it didn't take place at the site where players and staff were working it was close enough to witness police activity and the sight of the injured individual running and falling over.
Several players expressed concern and one or two apparently decided to depart after the first shooting. Following the second incident, the team boarded buses and departed. Two shootings in the area were reported by the Sun-Times the following day.
There was enough danger felt during the day that players and staff were ushered into the building, where they took shelter while police cleared the area.
Fire Confidential has learned that the players made the incidents known to the MLS Player's Union. The MLSPU has since reviewed the situation and is not pursuing further investigation.
The work with Habitat for Humanity was conducted by the Fire in support of Chicago's spring Green and Clean initiative and Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, MLS WORKS. The initiative and agreement with MLSPU makes player attendance mandatory and those that do not participate or depart risk fines.