The LA Galaxy announced Saturday afternoon they have “mutually agreed to part ways with LA Galaxy II defender Omar Ontiveros.” The move comes a day after Ontiveros was fined and suspended six games by the USL Championship after he used a racist slur against an opposing player during Wednesday’s match against San Diego Loyal FC.
The move follows a similar situation earlier this season, as first team midfielder Aleksandar Katai was released by the Galaxy after his wife posted a series of racist social media posts. Given the precedent set by how the club handled Katai’s situation, Ontiveros’ position at the club seemed untenable.
I reached out to the club for comment Friday before Ontiveros was cut, and did not receive a response beyond the announcement regarding the player. Kevin Baxter of the LA Times got a more robust statement from the club that he shared on Twitter:
(1/2) @LAGalaxy statement on the release of Omar Ontiveros: After a thorough review of the incident that took place during the @LAGalaxyII-@SanDiegoLoyal match, @LAGalaxy II has mutually agreed to part ways with defender Omar Ontiveros.— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) September 26, 2020
(2/2) @LAGalaxyII stand with communities of color, and especially the Black community, in the fight against systemic racism, social inequality, bigotry and violence. Our club has no tolerance for racism or bigotry of any kind.— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) September 26, 2020
While cutting ties with Ontiveros, 25, was something much of the Galaxy fanbase seemed to be looking for, one matter that has not yet been settled is the outcome of Wednesday’s game. Following the announcement regarding Ontiveros’ suspension by the league, San Diego Loyal released a long statement Friday afternoon that included the claim they want to forfeit the 1-1 draw out of protest for nothing being done in the moment in the match.
“We don’t even want to recognize being a part of a match where these types of actions take place.”— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) September 25, 2020
Our full statement below regarding the racial slur that was directed at our player in the Sept. 23rd match.#SDLoyal | #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bwIr50ToFy
However, the league has yet to remove a point from San Diego’s total, and it’s unclear if a team that had a player racially abused really ought to forfeit a game after the fact anyway. If anything, it would appear the Galaxy could have offered to forfeit themselves, but it would be an unprecedented measure if it were accepted.
If the league actually allows San Diego to forfeit, that would presumably give Galaxy II two more points, which would be key in the playoff race in Group B, which obviously further complicates matters.
Some fans will be satisfied with LA dropping Ontiveros and moving on. Others will be looking for more, a more robust statement from the club and action to back it up and perhaps an offer to forfeit the result in an effort to make a player using a racist slur during a game even more consequential for the game itself. We’ll have to see if the league decides to negate Wednesday’s result and the knock-on effect for the teams, and if any further statement will be made by the club on the matter. Considering this is the second time this has happened this season, it is at least a little bit concerning at this point, coincidence or not.
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