MLS winners and losers as New York Red Bulls racism row casts a dark cloud over weekend's action
There are certain moments and certain topics that are much, much bigger than soccer. Unfortunately, this weekend's MLS action was defined by one of those moments.
Saturday's clash between the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes was the setting for an accusation of racism. Another one.
Just days after yet another racism controversy unfolded in Italy around Romelu Lukaku, and the authorities, once again, getting it all wrong, MLS had their own horrible accusation to deal with.
A Red Bulls player was accused of using a slur, prompting a melee the delayed the game for 20 minutes. Another unsavory moment, another horrible incident. None of this should be happening anymore. Not that it should have happened ever, but so much work has been done to try and eradicate this stupidity.
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Jeremy Ebobisse, the San Jose Earthquakes striker, has done more work than most since his arrival in MLS, becoming an outspoken advocate in some of the most difficult moments. He was at the center of this controversy, and he was able to use his own words to explain what it feels like when you hear someone else use theirs for hate.
“This is what it is to be black in these situations," he said after the game. "You can’t be wrong, you can’t overstep anything outside of what you know to be fact. You have to proceed with absolute caution, even in moments of hurt when you’re feeling rather powerless.”
There's still an investigation to unfold, and the league will surely get to the bottom of it.
Meanwhile, there was still some good soccer, and some bad soccer, played this weekend. But let all of this serve as a reminder that, despite how far we've all come, there's still more work to be done when it comes to the basics of protecting people.
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