WASHINGTON — Major League Soccer and DC United have confirmed to WUSA9 that they are investigating allegations after forward Taxi Fountas was accused of directing a racial slur at a Black player, Inter Miami defender Damion Lowe, according to the Associated Press.
Allegedly, the incident occurred during the match's second half on Sunday night. WUSA9's John Henry, who was at the match, confirmed play was stopped for about five minutes during the second half.
Miami coach Phil Neville talked about the exchange in postgame interviews.
“It was a racist comment,” Inter Miami coach Phil Neville said, according to the AP. “It was unacceptable. A word was used. I think it’s unacceptable in society. A word was used, I think, the worst word in the world. And that’s it, really.”
The coach continued by commending his players on how they reacted. We reached out to DC United and Major League Soccer. MLS sent us a statement saying, they have "zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language."
A spokesperson from DC United says they're aware of the allegations and are cooperating with the investigation.
"MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and we take these allegations very seriously," the league also stated after confirming their investigation.
Inter Miami won the road match 3-2 to give its playoff hopes a major boost, with Gonzalo Higuain getting the deciding goal off an assist from DeAndre Yedlin in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The Associated Press stated that Inter Miami (12-13-6) players revealed that they were ready to walk off the field during the match if something was not done about what they believe Fountas said.
Fountas and Lowe both received yellow cards in the 62nd minute after exchanging words. That all happened shortly after Fountas scored to tie the game at 2-2.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t even feel like a win because of that incredibly dark moment,” said Inter Miami defender DeAndre Yedlin, according to the AP. “So now, we’ll see what MLS does about it. My eyes will be on that a lot, to see what kind of action they take, because it’s now up to them to take action and make a stand and show this not only has no place in the game but no place in society.”