LA Galaxy drops Aleksandar Katai after wife's racist social media posts

Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Katai is no longer a member of the LA Galaxy.

The MLS club issued a one-sentence statement a day after club officials met with Katai after it became aware of what it described on Wednesday as "racist and violent social media posts" by his wife, Tea:

"The LA Galaxy have mutually agreed to part ways with midfielder Aleksandar Katai."

Tea Katai posted two comments, the first "ma pobij  govna bre" in Serbian ("kill the s***s") with a screenshot of a police SUV trying to push through a crowd of protesters in New York, and the second an image of a looter with boxes of Nike shoes and the caption "Black Nike Matters."

The Galaxy issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the posts and requesting their immediate removal. They were taken down. A statement was later released by Aleksandar Katai on Wednesday:

LA Galaxy president Chris Klein told the Los Angeles Times that Aleksandar Katai "had a lot of hurt and remorse and was very understanding through this process.” He said the decision wasn't an easy one, referring to that fact the comments were made by Katai's wife, not him, but the Galaxy had to uphold its values and what it stands for.

Katai, a winger, was in his first season with the Galaxy after playing two seasons for the Chicago Fire, where he had 18 goals and 12 assists in 62 games.

The Fire made the unusual move of waiving Katai, a Designated Player, after his 2020 contract option was declined. The Galaxy then used Targeted Allocation Money to sign him. Katai's 2019 guaranteed compensation was $1,380,333.33, according to the MLSPA. A player must earn more than $612,500 to qualify for Targeted Allocation Money in 2020.

When the Fire signed Katai on a permanent transfer from La Liga's Deportivo Alaves midway through the 2019 season, it stated he was under contract through the 2019 season with a club option for 2020.

Photo: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire

12 comments about "LA Galaxy drops Aleksandar Katai after wife's racist social media posts".
  1. David Ruder, June 6, 2020 at 9:09 a.m.

    The second posting with the NIKE shoes is funny and deserving. An apology should be enough to make things right. This whole thing is getting out of hand, let's not start ruining couriers over some unfortunate comments. Team owners now have to be overly concerned with hiring foreign players who could say something unknowingly offensive that can ruin the morale of the whole team.   

  2. Robert Robertson, June 6, 2020 at 11:23 a.m.

    There is a reason to be concerned about the wife comments. In Serbia ultra supporters of Partizan Belgrade were part of the forces who carried out genocide against Bosnia-Herzgonovia citizens as well as within Serbia. These ultrarightist forces carried out policies there she was advocating on her post. Those who support ethnic cleansing must be opposed and wanting the police in the US to mow down protesters is along the same line.  The US has enough horrors in its history... we do not need more   

    I don't know anything about the player but he apparently voluntarily left the Galaxy.

    Hopefully, he will be picked up by another team.  

  3. peter grill, June 6, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

    Sorry dude, I don't think "the whole thing " is out of hand. Galaxy should be lauded for taking a real stand. There is no such thing as a " little bit " of racism .  We've heard the chants at major Euro stadiums,which are leveled at black players . This is hurtful to them  and their families which brings me to my final point. You may think that calling a person of color a N#$%r is bad form but calling them a darkie is part of your " whole thing out of hand " paradigm, but if my child hears you spewing your right to be ignorant then that creates a problem for me and others who are trying to raise the bar for our children...especially if  our kids are members of the group you feel is ok to denigrate...maybe just a little

  4. John Polis, June 6, 2020 at 1:02 p.m.

    Seems like there may be more to this. Athletes step out of line all the time. Then they apologize and move on. But throwing a player off the team because of the comments of a spouse on social media? Really? I agree with another poster. An apology should have sufficed. Seems knee-jerk. 

  5. Arnold Ramirez replied, June 6, 2020 at 1:54 p.m.

    There has to be zero tolerance. Enough already. When I was at LIU I had to go to the middle of the field because I couldn't take the racist remarks of the fans. They kept calling our goalie Gorilla, gorilla, gorilla. Finally the referee stopped the game and told the crowd that such remarks were unacceptable. 

  6. Terence Shumaker, June 6, 2020 at 3:11 p.m.

    To take lightly and to poo poo highly racist and inflammatory remarks such as those written by Tea Katai is to expose your own racism. Holding people responsible for racist remarks is the right and just thing to do. And hate speech such as this should definitely be felt by the offender's entire family and friends so that they are glaringly aware of the consequences of such actions. Good for the LA Galaxy for their quick response, especially in such tinder box times as these.

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2020 at 12:03 a.m.

    Hummm.??? But, HE didn't say it... are we ALL going to be Responsible for our Relatives Speech.??? Very Slippery Slope... Not Very American.!!!

  8. R M, June 6, 2020 at 5:03 p.m.

    The Galaxy's actions here are suspect. Letting go of an employee because of the stupid actions of another in their family, not the employee, is absolutely ridiculous. This is a dangerous precedent and possibly even illegal. His wife's comments were shameful but the fact that the Galaxy is celebrating this move with press all over LA feels disingenuous at best. It's more likely they wanted out of their deal with the player and found a convenient way to move on.  

  9. Sam Bellin, June 6, 2020 at 7:31 p.m.

    Racism is unacceptable, and encouraging violence based on racism is despicable.  The Galaxy did the right thing by removing him from the team.

  10. Goal Goal, June 6, 2020 at 8:50 p.m.

    Evidently you forgot that LA stands for Los Angeles.  The nut capital of the US.  Fire a guy because his wife said something you didn't like.  What part did she play in the hiring process?  Was she asked her views or her beliefs?  I personally don't believe that there is any room for racism in this game or any game.  What did he have to say.  Nothing. It appears.

    However this is the town that was raising money for bonding of those who protested violently and burned down part of Minneapolis.  Go figure why they fired him.  Get a good attorney and end up owning part of the team.  

  11. Guy Walling, June 7, 2020 at 9:43 a.m.

    WTF David Ruder and others who don't think the Galaxy should of taken action. As a husband of a wife who appears to be a very racist person and was making a mockery of these protests should of known what was going on. I have no doubt he condoned her behaviors, it's referred to as 'guilt by association'. I see we have ignorance even within our readers of socceramerica! So sad!

  12. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2020 at 12:18 a.m.

    Are you serious???  "Guilt by Association" ... Are you American??? That's some sort of Fascist/McCarthyist ideology.!!! Not sure why it was Racist what she Did.??? From what I saw, The Protesters have been Very Mixed race(and that's a Good thing, we can all be Proud Of)... But, Her Husband, "Threw her Under The Bus" ... She didn't say anything about the Color of the Protesters or The Looters ... Don't look fit that Marriage to last much Longer.!!!

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