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LAFC forward Adama Diomande claims he was called racial slur on field

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Incident happened around U.S. Open Cup game vs. Portland Timbers.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Houston Dynamo Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Thursday, 10 am PT: The Timbers released a statement on the allegations, published by ESPN:

“The club is aware of the accusations posted on Instagram following Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup game and is in direct communication with LAFC management, league officials and internal staff to gather more information,” the statement said. “At this time, we are awaiting more details as we actively continue to investigate the matter. The club will provide further information when it becomes available.

”The Timbers and those associated with the club do not tolerate discriminatory, disrespectful or offensive behavior of any kind, under any circumstances, and it does not reflect the values of the club or the community which it represents.”


Los Angeles Football Club defeated the Portland Timbers 3-2 on Wednesday in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup, but the win may ultimately be marked by a hateful incident, according to one of the players involved.

LAFC forward Adama Diomande posted on his personal Instagram account after Wednesday’s game that he had been called a racial slur on the field, saying it was the first time in his professional career it had happened to him.

(Diomande’s caption: Today was the first day in my professional career that I was called the «N» word on the field. They will say sorry to me after the game and please let it go, but If I don’t say anything racism will just continue to grow.No matter which country, color, religion or which language your speaking we all are human being and we should respect each other no matter what! #saynotoracism )

Diomande, 28, was born and raised in Norway to parents who immigrated from the Ivory Coast. Previously, the striker played in his native country, Belarus and England. He was signed by LAFC at the primary transfer deadline in May, and has gone on a tear to begin life in the United States, scoring nine goals in 10 games across all competitions to date.

Based on Diomande’s wording, we can’t necessarily assume it came during the game itself, or that the person who used the slur was a Timbers player, or if it did, when exactly it happened.

But the accusation is certainly serious, regardless, and hopefully the matter will be investigated by the teams, MLS and U.S. Soccer, who runs the U.S. Open Cup. It should go without saying, but this kind of conduct has no place in the sport, and people of color should be free to live and work here without being subject to racist abuse.

We will follow up on any developments that we hear about regarding this incident.