San Jose Earthquakes’ 1-1 draw at the New York Red Bulls was marred by the alleged use of racial slurs by a Red Bulls player on Saturday night in Harrison, New Jersey.
Major League Soccer announced an investigation after Saturday’s game, saying the league will investigate the words of Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir.
Vanzeir is said to have uttered a racist slur after a foul in the 54th minute. Several Earthquakes players reacted to the words, resulting in a minor on-field scuffle and an almost 20-minute stoppage in the game before play resumed.
A statement from Major League Soccer: pic.twitter.com/KYGgKzlaU4
— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) April 9, 2023
After the match, Earthquakes forward Jeremy Ebobisse told the media, “I know what I heard” about the alleged racial epithet used by Vanzeir.
“What we saw tonight should not be part of the game,” said Ebobisse. “The reason why after a long conversation I felt like we should continue with the game is because the player who uttered the word claimed it wasn’t directed at us.”
Here are Jeremy Ebobisse’s opening comments during tonight’s press conference as shared on The Aftershock Postgame Show.
Thanks to @kingjebo and Luchi Gonzalez for their candor and for answering our questions. #Quakes74 #RBNY
Full video here: pic.twitter.com/FSUNLuxhnW
— Quakes Epicenter (@QuakesEpicenter) April 9, 2023
Vanzeir, 24, was on the pitch for a further 15 minutes after play resumed before being substituted. Earthquake manager Luchi Gonzalez spent part of the 20-minute conversation pleading for his removal to his counterpart, Red Bulls manager Gerhard Struber.
“When I listen to my players in terms of what has or has not been said, there are things that are unacceptable,” Gonzalez told media. “It takes precedence over the game we’re playing.”
Vanzeir did not speak to the media after the game and his club released a statement on Twitter, in which the Red Bulls said they will fully cooperate with the MLS investigation and that they “do not condone any form of harassment or discrimination”.
The fight led to an MLS record 22 minutes of stoppage time, with New York’s Tom Barlow scoring in the 17th minute of second half stoppage time to lift the New York Red Bulls to a 1–1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. night.
Neither team scored until Cristian Espinoza took a pass from Carlos Gruezo and found the net in the 80th minute to put San Jose (3-2-2) on top. After the goal, several Earthquakes players simultaneously held a hushing party for the home crowd.
Cristian Espinoza puts the @SJarthquakes lead against the Red Bulls. pic.twitter.com/LaD0lQ0PSb
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 9, 2023
Barlow’s equalizer was unassisted and after 107 minutes was the last ever scored in an MLS match. He helped the Red Bulls (1-2-4) break a four game losing streak against the Earthquakes. San Jose had scored at least three goals in every game – the longest streak against a single opponent.
The Earthquakes attempted to win four of their first seven games, for the first time since their Supporters’ Shield winning season in 2012.
This report uses information from the Associated Press.