New York Red Bulls’ Vanzeir given 6-game ban by MLS for racial slur

April 14 – New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir (pictured) has been suspended for six games and fined by Major League Soccer for using a racist remark during last Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Play was stopped for 15 minutes after a confrontation involving Vanzeir.

The Belgian forward is also prohibited from playing in the U.S. Open Cup, in exhibition matches or in the third-tier MLS Next Pro league until the suspension is over, and he will be required to participate in training and education sessions, MLS said. The league did not disclose the amount of the fine.

San Jose striker Jeremy Ebobisse alleged a Red Bulls player used a racial slur early in the second half of a 1-1 draw on April 8. Ebobisse, who is black, did not name the player.

The league investigated and issued a statement shortly afterward that said: “MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and takes these allegations seriously.”

Vanzeir took responsibility for his language and said he would accept any discipline the league might impose.

“I will do everything I can to be part of the change that needs to happen in this sport and our world. I also want to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the organization and our fans,” a statement said. “I made a mistake and will take all the necessary steps to grow.

“While I did not intend to cause any harm or offense with my language, I know that I did and for that I am deeply sorry/”

Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber has not received a fine or suspension from MLS despite being asked to remove Vanzeir from the game by his San Jose opposite number Luchi Gonzalez.

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