June 23, 2024

Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil experienced a “racist social media incident” following the team’s 2-1 loss to LAFC on Saturday at BMO Stadium, as stated by the Galaxy in a released statement on Monday.

The incident occurred after Paintsil shared a Major League Soccer Instagram post regarding his participation in the El Tráfico crosstown rivalry against LAFC. Subsequently, following the match, an individual commented, “monkey couldn’t do anything today” accompanied by a laughing emoji, as per a screenshot shared on Reddit. Paintsil shared a screenshot of the racist comment on his Instagram stories.

The Galaxy promptly reported the incident to MLS upon becoming aware of it. A spokesperson for the team confirmed to The Times that Paintsil had engaged in discussions with the league regarding the matter and continued practicing with the team.

In their statement, the Galaxy expressed solidarity with Paintsil and others who have encountered racial abuse on social platforms or elsewhere. They emphasized their stance against racism, affirming that it has no place in their community, league, or society as a whole.

“The MLS and the Galaxy have extended the necessary support resources to Joseph during this challenging time,” stated the Galaxy spokesperson.

Paintsil, aged 26, joined the Galaxy from the Belgian Pro League team Genk in February. Although the financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, the Galaxy confirmed that the transfer fee was approximately $9 million. As a first-time MLS player, Paintsil has started all seven games for the Galaxy this season, contributing two goals and two assists.

Returning to Instagram on Tuesday, Paintsil shared 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 the incident from Saturday.

The league issued a statement on Monday condemning discriminatory and racist remarks and expressing full support for LA Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil and others in the league who are victims of hate speech. MLS and the club are collaborating with local authorities, with any responsible parties to be held fully accountable.

In 2018, LAFC faced a similar situation when Norwegian forward Adama Diomande, who played for the club from 2018 to 2020, reported on social media that he had been subjected to the N-word during a U.S. Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers. The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel conducted an investigation but found insufficient evidence to determine if a racist slur had been used toward Diomande during the game.

LAFC retweeted the Galaxy’s statement regarding Paintsil on Monday, stating, “We stand in solidarity with Joseph. LAFC is united in condemning racism, discrimination, and hate in all forms.”

Additionally, LAFC commented on the Galaxy’s tweet regarding the Paintsil incident, stating, “Whoever did such a terrible thing is not accepted in our community.”

In 2020, the Galaxy released midfielder Aleksander Katai after posts on his wife Tea’s social media account appeared to trivialize the protests and looting following George Floyd’s death. Also in the same year, the Galaxy’s reserve team, formerly known as Galaxy II and now Ventura County FC, released defender Omar Ontiveros following an investigation into allegations of discriminatory and racist language used during a match.

Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil dribbles the ball during a match against Inter Miami

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