During an MLS game between DC United and Inter Miami, it has been alleged that Taxi Fountas called Damian Lowe the n word.
With just under an hour played, Fountas scored to make it 2-2, but minutes later made a challenge on Lowe that the Inter Miami player wasn’t happy about. A scuffle ensued and this is when Fountas reportedly used the racist slur which Miami’s Aime Mabika, who is also Black, head too. This was followed by the referee stopping the game to speak to both captains.
Managers Wayne Rooney and Phil Neville had a discussion with officials on the sidelines, before Neville asked his players if they wanted to continue. Rooney made the decision to sub his goalscorer when play resumed.
With eight minutes time added, Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner in the 94th minute, followed by wild celebrations from the Inter Miami players.
“There was a complaint, which I’m sure will get investigated. Not much more I can say,” Rooney told reporters.
In the press conference after the game, Neville praised Rooney for his handling of the situation.
It was a racist comment that is unacceptable. The word that was used is unacceptable in society and is the worst word in the world. There is no place at all for racism on the football field. The owners 100 per cent agree. I must commend my players for keeping their calm. I must commend the referee for a really difficult situation. He followed the protocols set out by the MLS.
I must give massive respect to Wayne Rooney for dealing with it the way that he did. I have always known him as a class act. He went up more in my estimations that for any goal he has ever scored. Players were hurt and disappointed.
I called the players over because in my previous job with England we have had lots of experiences in certain countries of racism. I am quite briefed on how to handle these situations. I don’t think I have ever been as proud of my players as I was tonight.
This wasn’t the only moment of racism we’ve seen in football with weekend, with Atletico Madrid fans involved in racist chanting against Vinicius Junior, calling him a “monkey” ahead of the Madrid derby. This followed the bizarre criticism Vinicius had received in Spain after dancing to celebrate a goal against Mallorca. Football agent Pedro Bravo claimed the player was “monkeying around” when speaking as a guest on a Spanish TV show.