Ira L. Black/Getty Images
A Major League Soccer player allegedly made a racist remark during a game Saturday night, and now the league is investigating.
The match-up between the San Jose Earthquakes and the New York Red Bulls came to a halt after a player said he heard an opposing competitor use a racist epithet on the pitch.
“The racist remark was said. I do not believe it was to me,” Earthquakes forward Jeremy Ebobisse said in a post-game press conference without naming the other player.
“Also important to note that racial epithets, language, cannot be hurled in any direction — whether it was to a Black player or not — because that would open any number of doors themselves,” Ebobisse added.
MLS said in a statement that it would open an investigation into the incident and that the league has “zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and takes these allegations seriously.”
The Red Bulls echoed that sentiment and said the club would cooperate with the league’s investigation.
Earthquakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez said later that he urged Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber to remove the player who allegedly made the racist remark from the game.
“I definitely was adamant to suggest the player should not be on the field anymore,” Gonzalez said. “I know it’s an accusation, but I believe my players. I trust my players. If they say something, they’re high-character human beings before professional soccer players, so I would trust that it’s true.”
The game ultimately ended in a 1-1 tie.