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