- Wagner will not be a part of the team’s second First Round playoff match
- This was another in a long line of racist incidents that have affected MLS
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‘The suspension is effective immediately and Wagner will be unavailable for the Philadelphia Union match on Wednesday, Nov. 8 against New England Revolution and the Union’s subsequent two MLS matches,’ the league said in a statement.
‘If Philadelphia Union is eliminated from further play this season before the suspension is complete, then it will carry forward into the first match of the next season.
‘Wagner is also required to continue to participate in league-mandated education and training sessions, a process which has already begun, and must remain in full compliance with a program directed by a league-appointed restorative practices expert.
‘In reaching this decision, MLS considered many factors, including Wagner’s immediate acceptance of responsibility, willingness to participate in a restorative practices process to repair the harm caused, and his cooperation with the league’s investigation.’
Kai Wagner has been suspended for three games after he said a racial slur to an opponent
Union manager Jim Curtin revealed that Wagner did not travel with the team to New England for their second game of the first round hours before the decision was handed down.
This incident was alleged to have taken place in the 88th minute of the first MLS Cup Playoff match of the season for the Union – when Wagner got into a verbal altercation with New England Revolution forward Bobby Wood.
Wagner allegedly used a slur that was historically used at Asian people, according to The Athletic.
Wood was born to a Black father and a mother with partial Japanese ancestry. Wagner is from Germany, where Wood played most of his youth and first team career from 2007-2021.
At the time of the alleged incident, Wood is seen speaking briefly speaking with Wagner, then running over to referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere to animatedly inform him of something.
The referee didn’t take any immediate action as a shoving match took place between Wagner and one of Wood’s Revolution teammates.
This match finished as normal with reports saying that neither side was informed of what occurred until after the game ended.
Kai Wagner (second right) is alleged to have made a racist slur at Bobby Wood (right) during their game last Saturday. The players are pictured above in an earlier incident during the game
Taxi Fountas was released by DC United earlier this year after a second racism storm
NYRB forward Dante Vanzeir returned to the field in May following a six-game suspension
This is just yet another incident of racism that has created a black cloud hanging over the league this season – as multiple incidences have occurred this season.
New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir was suspended six games for using racist language against a San Joe Earthquakes opponent back in early April.
Earthquakes striker Jeremy Ebobisse alleged that a RBNY player – later revealed to be Vanzeir – used a racial slur early in the second half of a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena. This led to a scuffle which resulted in a lengthy delay and over 20 minutes of added time.
Additionally, DC United was at the center of multiple incidents involving one of their forwards, Taxi Fountas.
Fountas was accused of racially abusing Inter Miami defender Damion Lowe in a scuffle, before doing the same thing to one of his teammates – Nigel Robertha.
DC United terminated Fountas’s contract and he now plays with Trabzonspor in Turkey.