New York Red Bulls forward, Dante Vanzeir has been suspended by Major League Soccer for six regular season games for the use of racist language.
Vanzeir admitted to using racial slurs during a confrontation with the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.
Barely seen this posted anywhere and it baffles me. This should be the biggest talking point of the weekend. Based off the reactions it’s clear SOMETHING was said that crossed the line. MLS needs to handle this fast & accordingly & hand out a lengthy ban if accusations are backed pic.twitter.com/p6WoSdYuEG— Jimmy King (@Jimmyking35) April 9, 2023
His action led to a lengthy stoppage as referees decided whether or not to red-card Vanzeir or whether or not to continue the match. Referees gave 21 minutes of stoppage time as a result of the remark.
The club announced on Tuesday that Vanzeir would be stepping away from the team ‘until further notice’ after speaking to his teammates.
According to a press release, Vanzeir will be prohibited from participating in U.S. Open Cup, MLS NEXT PRO and exhibition matches until the end of the suspension.
The league has also fined Vanzeir for an undisclosed sum and will require him to participate in additional League-mandated training and education sessions.
MLS says it is working with both the Red Bulls and San Jose as well as the MLS Players Association to, ‘provide impacted players and staff with support and resources and is committed to continuing to review and improve its in-game protocol.’
The Red Bulls released a series of statements on Monday – including one from the club and statements on behalf of Vanzeir and manager Gerhard Struber.
‘I accept full responsibility for my actions,’ began Vanzeir’s statement. ‘While I did not intend to cause any harm or offense with my language, I know that I did and for that I am deeply sorry. I will agree to any suspension, fine and counseling that is handed down by Major League Soccer and the club.
‘I will use this opportunity to better myself, reflect and dedicate my time and efforts to work with organizations that tackle racial injustice.’
The club’s statement directly apologized for the incident, calling the words and the inaction ‘inexcusable’.
‘The New York Red bulls wholeheartedly apologize for the unacceptable events that transpired on Saturday night during the match with the San Jose Earthquakes,’ it read. ‘The words and inaction was inexcusable, and we believe there is never a place for it.
‘We always strive for an environment that is inclusive and anti-racist. Our organization is committed to providing the resources to further educate our players and staff, as well as rebuilding trust within our community.’