San Diego Wave FC opened their new permanent home, Snapdragon Stadium, on Saturday with a rivalry clash against Angel City FC and set an NWSL attendance record with 32,000 present.
While in many respects it was a triumphant night for Wave FC and the league, with the home side winning 1-0, the evening was marred by at least one racist outburst and physical attack in the stands.
Angel City fan Martín Macías Jr. posted his account of what happened during and immediately after the match, which has been corroborated by other fans in the vicinity.
Drove south to see today’s @weareangelcity’s game vs @sandiegowavefc. Post-game, my partner and I were assaulted by a white SD fan who’d earlier told me to “get the fuck out of our country.” She jumped two rows and pushed a family aside just to assault us. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/LjHr3eVx0B— Martín Macías Jr. (@_mxmmedia) September 18, 2022
Security said a report will be filed. I gave them photos + witnesses. What comes of it? Anyones guess. What is justice here? I want teams to ensure fans, players etc don’t encounter racism. Easy to post platitudes about anti-racism but how does your org actually practice it? 2/3— Martín Macías Jr. (@_mxmmedia) September 18, 2022
Wave FC responded to Martín’s tweets on Sunday:
As a club, we have zero tolerance for any form of racism, violence and discrimination. On behalf of the club, we are very sorry to hear of your experience last night and are working with the stadium officials to investigate.— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) September 18, 2022
Subsequently, NWSL released an official statement on the matter on Monday:
The hateful and racist conduct that has been reported from this past weekend’s match in San Diego has no place in soccer, sport or society. We will assist and support the investigation that is underway and hold accountable anyone deemed responsible. Saturday’s match was a celebration for the progress our league has made, but this is a reminder that we must remain vigilant, especially in providing safe places for everyone associated with the NWSL to work, play and be entertained. We will also take this opportunity to review league policies and protocols to ensure they reflect the positive, safe and inclusive environment we expect at all our events.
Then San Diego Wave FC released their own statement, condemning racism and saying an investigation is ongoing on the matter:
Official club statement. pic.twitter.com/hUBq6DBCmf— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) September 20, 2022
It’s unfortunate that this incident marred the experience, most notably for the people targeted, and condemnations in public by the club and league is a good step. But obviously racist behavior and physical assaults have no place in our sport, period. Hopefully the person responsible is banned for life and the nascent culture around San Diego Wave FC and this rivalry will not tolerate any behavior like this in the future.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.