February 18 – Football-related racism doesn’t usually hit the United States but FC Cincinnati head coach Ron Jans (pictured) has resigned in the wake of an incident in which he is accused of making “extremely inappropriate comments”.
Major League Soccer’s Players Association made a complaint after Jans allegedly used a racial slur when singing along to music in the locker room. He initially “stepped away” from his role as an official investigation began, but tendered his resignation just three days later.
“We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted,” said FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding.
“Racial and cultural diversity is a major part of what makes the game of soccer so special, and we place the highest priority on respecting every person involved in our game. This includes absolutely everyone associated with our club, from our locker room and front office, all the way through to our fans.”
Jans is reported as claiming he used the N-word while singing along to a hip-hop song during a training camp in Arizona, but MLS Players’ Association executive director Bob Foose released a statement alleging “the narrative that the conduct here involved singing along to song lyrics is completely false,” and accused Jans of creating a toxic atmosphere within the camp
Jans was hired by Cincinatti in August 2019 but went on to win just one of his 10 games in charge, the worst MLS finish of the season.
An MLS statement said: “Major League Soccer has been informed of a complaint filed with the MLS Players Association regarding FC Cincinnati head coach Ron Jans. The MLS league office, in cooperation with FC Cincinnati, has begun an investigation into the matter.”
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