MLS reviewing allegation that Union’s Kai Wagner used a racial slur towards Revolution’s Bobby Wooden

New England Revolution

The league mentioned in a press release that “a evaluation of the matter is underway.”

Bobby Wood Kai Wagner
Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner heads the ball away in entrance of Revolution ahead Bobby Wooden throughout the playoff recreation on Oct. 28. AP Photograph/Joe Lamberti

Main League Soccer is conducting a evaluation right into a criticism made by the Revolution following Saturday’s playoff recreation towards the Union wherein a racial slur was allegedly utilized by Philadelphia defender Kai Wagner towards New England ahead Bobby Wooden.

The allegation, initially reported by Pablo Maurer and Tom Bogert of The Athletic, is that Wagner used a slur directed at Wooden’s Asian-American heritage. Wagner, who’s German, allegedly mentioned the slur in German. Wooden, who performed in Germany for 10 seasons, additionally speaks German and understood what was being mentioned.

The Revolution declined to touch upon the matter. The league shared a press release:

MLS is conscious of the allegation {that a} participant used discriminatory language towards an opposing participant, and a evaluation of the matter is underway.

The League has been working with the MLS Gamers Affiliation and Black Gamers for Change on a course of to handle some of these allegations and can have no additional remark throughout the pendency of the evaluation.

The incident reportedly occurred within the 87th minute of the 2 groups’ opening recreation of the best-of-three first spherical playoff collection. It was additionally reportedly logged in referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere’s post-match report.

Video of the precise time interval within the match seems to indicate the sequence of occasions from afar. Play was stopped after Revolution ahead Giacomo Vrioni fouled Union defender Nathan Harriel, for which he was initially proven a yellow card.

Throughout a video assistant referee (VAR) test for a doable crimson card from the prior foul by Vrioni, Wooden might be seen abruptly pointing in Wagner’s course, and rapidly approaching Lauziere (once more pointing at Wagner). Shortly afterward, the 2 gamers needed to be separated.

The Revolution will face the Union once more on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Gillette Stadium within the second recreation of the playoff collection. New England misplaced the match in Philadelphia on Saturday, 3-1.

Wooden, 30, was born in Hawaii and is of each Japanese and African-American heritage. He joined the Revolution previous to the 2023 season, and tallied seven targets and 5 assists for New England throughout the common season.

Earlier in 2023, MLS suspended New York Purple Bulls ahead Dante Vanzeir six video games for utilizing a racial slur throughout a recreation towards the San Jose Earthquakes. Following a separate incident of racial abuse in July, D.C. United and midfielder Taxi Fountas (who had additionally been accused of utilizing a racial slur in 2022) mutually agreed to a contract termination.