MLS

New York Red Bulls star Vanzeir hit with six-game MLS ban for using racist language

By Sports Desk April 14, 2023

New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir has been banned for six MLS games after using racist language during last Saturday's clash with the San Jose Earthquakes.

The encounter was stopped for 15 minutes at Red Bull Arena after Belgium international Vanzeir was involved in a confrontation.

He has since apologised, saying he "made a mistake and will take all the necessary steps to grow", but that did not spare him from firm punishment from league chiefs.

Announcing the suspension in a statement, MLS said it had also imposed a fine of an unspecified sum on Vanzeir, adding he must take part in "league-mandated training and education sessions, as well as a restorative practices programme".

The league added: "MLS is working with both clubs and the MLS Players Association to provide impacted players and staff with support and resources, and is committed to continuing to review and improve its in-game protocol."

Vanzeir will be eligible to return to action against CF Montreal on May 20.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Vanzeir said he would "accept full responsibility for my actions".

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

Anticipating his punishment, Vanzeir added: "I will use this opportunity to better myself, reflect and dedicate my time and efforts to work with organisations that tackle racial injustice."

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