Looked like #RBNY are set to walk out in...Konrad Plewa t-shirts?— Ryan Brister (@ThroughBalls) August 8, 2016
It didn't take long for an explanation to surface:
@ThroughBalls he had a stroke, hes okay now— Charlie (@coconnell23) August 8, 2016
In post-match comments, head coach Jesse Marsch explained the situation:
It's a player on our USL team named Konrad Plewa. He had a stroke after coming back from Richmond. They took a bus, they got back at like 5 in the morning and at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning he started losing feeling in his arm and part of his face. And so he had to be rushed to the hospital and they found that he had a stroke. They went in and cleared the blockage and it seems like he's recovering in a really good way.
NYRB II played Richmond Kickers on July 30, so Plewa has been dealing with this since August 1. Once can perhaps understand why the club might choose not to make the news pubic immediately - there is presumably still concern about the long-term implications for Plewa's career. And one can also understand why the players might want to show their support for a young colleague coping with a very serious health issue.
If there was any debate between players and front office about keeping the matter private, it was presumably settled when the team wore the t-shirts on to the field for warm-ups. Marsch had nothing but positive words to say about his players' actions:
That was awesome. It was awesome that the guys were wearing that shirt.
The tribute appears to have been a surprise to Plewa himself.
Get well soon, Konrad.