MLS investigation begins into 'racist situation' in Portland-Minnesota game

Major League Soccer has begun an investigation into an incident that took place in the second half of the Portland-Minnesota United game.

In his postgame press conference after the Timbers' 1-0 loss to Minnesota United, Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said midfielder Diego Chara was the target of racial abuse by a Minnesota player.

"We are all in support of Diego Chara," Savarese said, "but what happened to him today, the discriminatory word that was said to him, should not have a place anywhere at this time and I am extremely disappointed that it was not taken as seriously as it should have been. The whole team, myself, the whole organization, is with Diego Chara in this situation that happened on the field today."

In the 65th minute, referee Rosendo Mendoza stopped play and met with players on both teams after the Timbers protested about a racial taunt. No action was taken in the field.

"I am very and extremely disappointed that still at this time we have to deal with situations that should not be happening anymore or in any sport or anywhere," Savarese said. "It's things that are not acceptable and in this game there was a situation that had to do with a racist situation. A discriminatory word that has been said to one of our players that cannot have any place in anywhere or in any situation or any sport, nowhere."

Savarese said Mendoza should have handled this situation in a much better way.

In a statement, MLS said it has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and it takes these allegations very seriously. Minnesota United issued its own statement in support of MLS's position.
7 comments about "MLS investigation begins into 'racist situation' in Portland-Minnesota game".
  1. Bob Ashpole, June 28, 2021 at 12:17 a.m.

    Officials are limited in their ability to deal with misconduct. If an official had observed it, fine. But apparently none of the officials observed the misconduct, which is as expected by someone looking to get away with racial taunts.

    The players club, however, is free to disciipline the player based on what other people saw regardless of the game report. So is the league. That is how things like this must be handled. If clubs are encouraging misconduct and then protecting the player, that is worse than the misconduct itself.

    It isn't just the player whose neck is on the line. The club could be sanctioned too. 

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, June 28, 2021 at 12:19 a.m.

    Remember, the league not the club hold the player contract.

  3. Santiago 1314, June 28, 2021 at 7:58 p.m.

    And the League must uphold its agreement with the Players Union ... Come on Bob, If the Ref didn't handle it on the field, let the Lawyers figure it out.!!!... Due Process... 0 Tolerance for any Racist, if they can Prove it.!!!

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, June 29, 2021 at 3:03 a.m.

    Maybe after a player is dropped there may be a lawsuit or an arbitration proceeding, but not before there is some adverse action taken. No CBA is going to protect a player against being cut for misconduct. At most it provides procedures for resolving a dispute between management and players.

  5. R2 Dad, June 28, 2021 at 10:33 p.m.

    There is nothing so far. If there was a smoking gun--especially from some white guy-- it would already be all over the news. I suspect that Chara (Columbia) might have heard some spanish trash-talk from another south american like Reynoso (Argentina). That kind of smack might be normal for CONMEBOL/CONCACAF but obviously won't fly in the US.

  6. Mike Beaudry, June 29, 2021 at 2:38 a.m.

    The incident was with Argentine Frank Fragapone. Who knows if it is true or not. Did anyone other than than the two players here it. N it happened after Chara (a true cheap shot n instigator - his own team labels him "fiesty!") fouled Fragapone

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, June 29, 2021 at 3:20 a.m.

    A good point. I have shouted a curse in great pain upon being seriously injured by a dangerous tackle. Under other circumstances I would have received a caution for misconduct. These things happen but are ignored by officials if not persistent. So circumstances matter. I had assumed this was a taunt unobserved by the officials.

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