Major League Soccer is investigating allegations D.C. United's Taxi Fountas used a racial slur toward Inter Miami's Damion Lowe during Sunday's match between the teams.
Fountas and Lowe were both issued yellow cards in the 62nd minute after a verbal back-and-forth during which the D.C. United forward allegedly used a slur. Lowe informed his teammates of the alleged remark, and players said they considered walking off the field in protest.
Inter Miami coach Phil Neville informed D.C. United coach Wayne Rooney of the allegations, and Rooney removed Fountas from the contest.
“It was a racist comment,” Neville told reporters. “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.”
Rooney declined to comment on the matter aside from acknowledging there was a "complaint."
DeAndre Yedlin said Inter Miami would have left the game had Fountas not been removed. MLS released a statement Sunday saying an investigation would begin "promptly."
“MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and we take these allegations very seriously,” MLS said in a statement.
Inter Miami went on to win the match 3-2. The victory helped keep Inter Miami's playoffs hopes alive, but the triumph was overshadowed by the allegations.
Fountas, who is Greek, is in his first season playing in MLS and is D.C. United's highest-paid player.