HomeSportsUnion’s Kai Wagner suspended for alleged racial slur at opponent
Union’s Kai Wagner suspended for alleged racial slur at opponent
November 7, 2023
The MLS announced that Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner has been suspended three games after he was accused of lobbing a racial slur at an opponent last week.
Wagner, 26, was accused of directing an anti-Asian slur at Revolution striker Bobby Wood last week.
Wagner, a native German, allegedly said the slur to Wood in German, and Wood, who is of Japanese and black descent, understood the slur as he played professionally in Germany for a decade before MLS, according to The Athletic.
“In reaching this decision, MLS considered many factors, including Wagner’s immediate acceptance of responsibility for the violation, willingness to participate in restorative practices to repair the harm caused, and his cooperation with the league’s investigation,” MLS said in a statement.
The Union play the New England Revolution in the MLS playoffs on Wednesday; the suspension will either go through this season if the Union advance in the playoffs, or carry over to next year if they don’t.
In addition to the suspension, Wagner must attend “league-mandated education and training sessions” and “remain in full compliance with a program directed by a league-appointed restorative practices expert,” the MLS said.
Wagner might not wind up ultimately having to serve the full suspension, considering he is a free agent and has reportedly drawn interest from clubs in the United Kingdom and Germany, according to The Athletic.
Last year, New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir was suspended for six games after he was accused of making a “racist remark” to Earthquakes forward Jeremy Ebobisse.
“It was brought to our attention during Saturday’s match that one of our players allegedly used a racial slur on the pitch,” the Red Bulls said in a statement after the match. “The Red Bulls take these matters very seriously and promptly reported the allegations to Major League Soccer. We will cooperate with the League’s investigation.
“The New York Red Bulls do not condone any form of harassment or discrimination.”