Major League Soccer

Diego Chara reacts to ‘inconclusive’ MLS racism investigation

Lizzy Becherano
Chara warming up for Portland Timbers
Chara warming up for Portland Timbers / Abbie Parr/Getty Images
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Major League Soccer have announced that no further action will be taken after finding inconclusive results into the allegation that a Minnesota United player racially abused Portland Timbers' Diego Chara during a match on 26 June.

The league communicated their inability to corroborate the incident, and will not be filing direct sanctions on anybody involved with the situation. Instead, MLS reminded all clubs and players to continue completing annual Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Training.

Chara, the subject of the alleged attack, took to twitter to share his thoughts on the matter after the league revealed their findings. 

“I am proud to have been part of Major League Soccer for 11 seasons. During my time in the league I have received tremendous support and kindness from fellow players and the entire MLS Community," Chara wrote.

"However, during our recent game against Minnesota United I was the target of an insult where the color of my skin was used to  offend me. I don’t think anyone should experience this, there’s no place in any culture where using your ethnicity to insult you should be ok. No one should experience this. Despite the inconclusive findings by MLS, it is my hope that Minnesota’s organization will address the issue with the player and their team to ensure that this will not happen again.”

Following the league’s announcement, Minnesota United shared their own independent findings, concluding that the player denies any wrongdoing. The club’s statement reiterated their commitment to spreading principles of inclusion, equality and respect, but failed to mention any further action on the matter or ongoing racism issues occuring within the league. 

In Portland, the situation was not taken as lightly. Head coach Gio Savarese has not remained silent, expressing his disappointment at the league, referee and situation as a whole. 

"I am very and extremely disappointed that still at this time we have to deal with situations that should not be happening anymore or in any sport or anywhere," he said.

Giovanni Savarese, Diego Chara
Savarese has stood by Chara and expressed disappointment at MLS' lack of findings / Abbie Parr/Getty Images

"It's things that are not acceptable and, in this game, there was a situation that had to do with a racist situation. A discriminatory word that has been said to one of our players that cannot have any place in anywhere or in any situation or any sport, nowhere. So, I'm extremely disappointed that still at this time we have to deal with these kinds of situations in a game. The referee should have handled this situation in a much better way."

The Timbers’ efforts did not go unnoticed as Chara expressed his gratitude on Twitter, where he added: “I am grateful for the support I received from my teammates, players around the league, the Timbers front office and our supporters.”

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