SportsPulse: Millions of Americans tuned into a World Cup that had no Americans. Which begs the question: Is the United States a soccer nation?
LAFC forward Adama Diomande claimed Thursday that he was called a racial slur by a Portland Timbers player during a Wednesday U.S. Open Cup soccer game.
Diomande, a Norway native who joined LAFC in May, did not name the individual, but on social media said the player was reported.
“Today was the first time in my professional career that I was called the ‘N’ word on the field,” Diomande wrote Thursday on Instagram. “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 exchanged words with Timbers players in the 90th minute following a hard foul on one of his teammates. Several minutes later, Diomande stood up to Timbers players again after he was checked in the back with a late tackle.
The Timbers are protesting the game’s result — a 3-2 loss — over the number of LAFC foreign players. Only five players from other countries are allowed on each team, per USOC rules. The team issued a statement noting that the organization was working with U.S. soccer, MLS and LAFC management to “gather more information.”
“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,” the statement read.
LAFC advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup with Wednesday’s win. Diomande scored nine goals in his first seven games with the club.