[CHIVAS USA] Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos, two former members of the Chivas USA academy coaching staff, have sued the MLS club in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying they were fired “because they were neither Mexican nor Latino.”
(Click here for lawsuit.)
The former U.S. internationals and MLS players joined Chivas USA after working for LAFC (where Chronopoulos was Development Academy Southern California Conference Coach of the Year honors for 2008) and Cosmos Academy West. They were effectively suspended and then subsequently fired in March.
Calichman and Chronopoulos charge Mexican owner Jose Vergara began to “implement a discriminatory policy similar to the ethnocentric ‘Mexican-only’ policy that exists at Chivas de Guadalajara” when he took control of the team late last year.
The complaint charges that Vergara told employees who raised their hands when he asked who didn't speak Spanish that they would no longer work at Chivas USA.
"If you don't speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy, unless you speak Chinese, which is not even a language,'" the complaint alleges Vergara said.
The complaint goes on to allege that Jose David, the team’s newly hired president and chief business officer, asked Chronopoulos to report which academy players and coaches were Mexican or Mexican-American and which were not.
Gregory D. Helmer, the attorney for Calichman and Chronopoulos, says Chivas USA's hiring practices violate California and federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including treatment based on race, national origin or ethnicity, states the pair’s attorney. The suit also is based on harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.