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New York Red Bulls player suspended 6 games for racial slur

New York Red Bulls forward Dante VanZier has been suspended for six games and fined by Major League Soccer for using racist language during a game against the San Jose Earthquakes, the league announced Thursday.

The Belgian forward is banned from playing in the US Open Cup, exhibition matches or the third-tier MLS Next Pro League until the suspension is over and must attend training and education sessions, MLS said. The league did not disclose the amount of the fine.

Vanjir had earlier withdrawn from the party. The Red Bulls said on Tuesday that Vanzie had addressed his teammates that day and had left to “avoid further confusion”.

New York Red Bulls player Dante Vanziere

Dante Vanzier of the New York Red Bulls during the game against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 8, 2023 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Rich Gresley/ICON Sportswear via Getty Images

San Jose striker Jeremy Ibobis alleged that a Red Bulls player used a racial slur early in the second half of a 1-1 draw at Red Bulls Arena on April 8. A fight broke out between the players and a long delay ensued.

Ibobis, who is black, did not name the player and the league has launched an investigation.

On Monday, VanZier took responsibility for the slander and said he would accept any discipline the league could impose.

“I will do everything I can to be a part of the change that needs to happen in this game and in our world. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches, organization and our fans,” he said in a statement. “I made a mistake and will take all necessary steps to grow.

“While I did not intend to cause any harm or offense with my language, I know that I did and I am deeply sorry for that,” the statement said.

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