Tuesday, May 21 2024
CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Joseph Paintsil #28 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the match.

Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil was the victim of a “racist social media incident” following the team’s 2-1 loss to LAFC on Saturday at BMO stadium, the Galaxy said in a statement Monday.

The incident happened after Paintsil shared a Major League Soccer Instagram post about him getting his first shot at LAFC in the El Tráfico crosstown rivalry. After the match, someone commented, “mon key couldn’t do anything today” with a laughing emoji, according to a screenshot on Reddit. Paintsil shared a screenshot of the racist comment on his Instagram stories.

The Galaxy said the incident was reported to MLS immediately. A spokesman for the team told The Times that Paintsil had spoken with the league about the incident and was practicing with the team.

“The club stands with Joseph and anyone who has faced racial abuse through social platforms or anywhere else,” the Galaxy stated. “There is no place for racism in our community, in our league or anywhere else in society.”

“MLS and the Galaxy have provided the resources that Joseph needs to feel supported in this difficult moment,” the Galaxy spokesman said.

Paintsil, 26, was acquired from Belgian Pro League team Genk in February. Financial terms of the deal were not released but the Galaxy confirmed the transfer fee was about $9 million. The first-time MLS player has started all seven games for the Galaxy this season, contributing two goals and two assists.

Read more: Galaxy acquire Ghanaian winger Joseph Paintsil from Genk, reshaping their roster

He returned to Instagram on Tuesday with a lighthearted “throwback” post featuring photos from a visit to Universal Studios and a video of himself rapping along with a song by Ghanaian performer Opanka. There was no mention of Saturday’s incident.

The league issued a statement Monday.

“Major League Soccer explicitly condemns discriminatory and racist remarks and is committed to fully supporting LA Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil and others across our league who are victims of hate speech,” it stated. “MLS and the club continue to work with local authorities, and anyone found responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”

LAFC experienced a similar situation in 2018 when Norwegian forward Adama Diomande, who played for the club from 2018-20, wrote on social media that he had been called the N-word during a U.S. Open Cup match against Portland Timbers. The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel conducted a hearing and determined there was insufficient evidence to determine whether a racist slur had been used toward Diomande during the game.

LAFC retweeted the Galaxy’s statement regarding Paintsil on Monday.

“We stand in solidarity with Joseph,” LAFC wrote. “LAFC is united in condemning racism, discrimination and hate in all of its forms.”

Read more: Galaxy release Aleksandar Katai following racist posts by his wife

The same day, LAFC also posted a comment on the Galaxy’s tweet on the Paintsil matter. “Whoever did such a terrible thing, is not accepted in our community,” LAFC wrote.

In 2020, the Galaxy released midfielder Aleksander Katai after becoming aware of posts on a social media account belonging to his wife, Tea, that appeared to make light of the protests and looting that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The same year, the Galaxy’s reserve team, then-known as Galaxy II (now Ventura County FC), released defender Omar Ontiveros after reviewing an on-field incident in which Ontiveros was accused of using discriminatory and racist language.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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