FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans has left the team
while an investigation into remarks he made in front of players in the locker room during preseason training is completed.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the MLSPA filed a complaint with MLS on Thursday in which the 61-year-old Dutchman is accused of using the N-word in the locker room. He told FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding he said the word when singing along with music played in the locker room though a player told him his use of language was inappropriate in the United States.
Jans was hired last summer and is starting his first full season as the FCC head coach. In a statement, FC Cincinnati said it was "very surprised" by the allegation as "building a caring and committed culture has been a focus of Ron’s leadership," but his stepping aside was important to ensure that players could "speak freely to locker room issues that have arisen."
FC Cincinnati also said it would institute "training" for every member of the club to ensure everyone "has a deeper appreciation and awareness for differences in cultures and backgrounds."
"The Players Association was very recently made aware of extremely inappropriate comments made by FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans," MLSPA said in a statement. "We have made a report to the appropriate league officials and expect an immediate and thorough league investigation to be conducted."
Incidents of racist remarks or other language have been rare in MLS history.
In 1998, then-commissioner Doug Logan hit Edwin Gorter with a four-game suspension and $20,000 fine for a racist remark directed at teammate David Nakhid during an intrasquad scrimmage.
In 2018, Philadelphia's Fafa Picault and Orlando City's Pierre da Silva were both handed three-game bans for “offensive language” during a closed-door scrimmage.
In 2012, Colin Clark and Marc Burch were each handed three-game suspensions after they were caught using homophobic language.
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