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Altidore: 'You pray for them and hope they get better'
January 29th, 2013 5:59PM
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TAGS:  americans abroad, netherlands


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Jozy Altidore set a new career high Tuesday, scoring his 20th goal of the season from the penalty spot for AZ in its 5-0 win at Den Bosch in the Dutch Cup quarterfinals, but the match was marred by racist chants directed at the American striker. Altidore refused to be provoked by the sounds of "jungle noises," saying, "I'm not going to fight them. They have some issues and need some help. You pray for them and hope they get better."

Altidore's goal in the 39th minute made it 4-0 and came after Den Bosch defender Jelle De Bock was red carded for taking him down in the area.

Den Bosch fans continued to hurl abuse at Altidore, but he refused to take the referee up on his offer for him to leave the game.

The game was halted after a second Den Bosch red card in the 51st minute as fans began to toss snowballs at the assistant referee and continue to verbally abuse Altidore.

The game was momentarily halted and fans told up cut out the "jungle noises" or the game would be terminated.

Altidore, who later set up the fifth goal scored by Adam Maher, said he had an obligation to his club and his family not to be provoked:

"It's a bit disappointing these things still happen in this time we are in. What are you doing to do? You just hope these people can find a way to improve themselves. You can only pray for them. I feel like I have an obligation to my club, to my family, to not react to things like this and show the club shows better than that and I was raised better than that to respond to such ridiculous behavior. You would hope that humanity can grow from these type of times, but it's still alive -- racism. All we can do now is educate ourselves and the young kids to be better than that. I'm not going to fight them. They have some issues and need some help. You pray for them and hope they get better."

  1. Peter Couhig
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.
    Well played, Hero. Den Bosch should be punished harshly.
  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.
    I am ashamed for people that express their hatred this way.
  1. David Parsons
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.
    Stay strong, calm, and clear of mind Jozy. You are setting a good example by your actions, although you would be in your rights to walk off. By the way, save some of those goals for qualifying and the World Cup.
  1. Mark Wallis
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 12:39 p.m.
    Perfect reaction Jozy. If you walk off, the racists win.
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.
    That's a great example set by Jozy showing tremendous class. We see stupidity like this in USA against Hispanics in youth games. Its a shame this behavior still exists in every corner of the world.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 5:17 p.m.
    Fans can be real asses, at the LA Colisseum some have even thrown bags of urine, rolls of coins, batteries, etc. at international friendly games, including AT the US team on home ground. Classless racist chants and throwing of harmful objects have no place in football.

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