WASHINGTON (AP) — Major League Soccer said it will investigate allegations that D.C. United player Texi Fontas used a racial slur against Inter Miami defender Damion Lowe during the second half of the team’s game Sunday night.
Inter Miami won the road game 3-2 to give their play-off hopes a big boost, with Gonzalo Higuain scoring the decisive goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time with an assist from Deander Yedlin.
But the mood cooled after that, with Inter Miami (12-13-6) players saying they were ready to walk off the field during the game if something wasn’t done about what happened. They believe Fontas said.
“It was a racist comment,” Inter Miami coach Phil Newell said. “It was unacceptable.” A word was used. I think this is not acceptable in society. I think the worst word in the world was used. Indeed.”
Fontas and Lowe, who is black, both received yellow cards in the 62nd minute after exchanging words. All this happened after Fuentes tied the game at 2-2.
The Inter Miami players gathered and after a conversation that lasted several minutes, Neville spoke to his DC United counterpart Wayne Rooney. Ronnie Fontas ejected, and the game resumed.
“There was a complaint, I’m sure there will be an investigation. I can’t say much more,” Rooney told reporters.
Yedlin said he has spoken about how there is no place for racism in football during his career. He said the Fuentes used the slogan when Lowe was away from their dust.
“If nothing had happened, we wouldn’t have continued,” Yedlin said.
Once Fontas was taken, the game was on, but there was no celebration afterwards.
Yedlin said: “At the end of the day, it doesn’t even feel like a victory because of this incredibly dark moment. Let’s see what kind of action they take, because now it’s up to them to take action and take a stand. And show that it not only has no place in the game, but has no place in society.”
MLS released a statement after the game saying “an investigation into this matter will be initiated as soon as possible.”
“MLS has zero tolerance for abusive or insulting language, and we take these allegations very seriously,” the league said.
Miami also got two goals from Leonardo Campana.
Christian Benteke also scored for United (7-19-6). United outshot Miami 17-8, but each team had five shots on goal.
Drake Callender saved three of the five shots he faced for Miami. David Ochoa saved two of the five shots he faced for the United States.
Miami next plays on the road against Toronto on Friday, and United will visit CF Montreal on Saturday.