New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir apologized in a statement Monday.
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New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir has been suspended for six regular season games after using a racial slur during Saturday’s Major League Soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes, the league announced.
Vanzeir will also be fined an undisclosed amount and be required to participate in “League-mandated training and education sessions, as well as a restorative practices program,” MLS said in a news release Thursday.
HARRISON, NJ – APRIL 08: Dante Vanzeir #13 of New York Red Bulls during the game against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 8, 2023 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
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The league launched an investigation after Earthquakes forward Jeremy Ebobisse said in a post-game interview on Saturday that he heard a Red Bulls player make a racist remark during the match. Ebobisse did not identify the player.
On Monday, Vanzeir apologized in a statement and said, “I 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. I will agree to any suspension, fine and counseling that is handed down by Major League Soccer and the club,” the 24-year-old Belgian said.
The Red Bulls club also apologized for the “unacceptable events” during the match and condemned the behavior as “inexcusable.”
“We always strive for an environment that is inclusive and anti-racist. Our organization is committed to providing the resources to further educate our players and staff, as well as rebuilding trust within our community,” the club said in a statement.
— Dante Vanzeir (@dantevanzeir) April 10, 2023
Until the suspension is completed, Vanzeir will be prohibited from playing in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, MLS NEXT Pro games and exhibition matches, the league said.
MLS said it is working with the two clubs and the league player’s association to “provide impacted players and staff with support and resources” and is committed to continuing to review and improve its in-game protocol.”
CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe contributed to this report.