Once again, Taxi Fountas is being accused of racial slurs.
When Taxi Fountas joined DC United, becoming their highest-paid player, fans were hopeful of seeing their star man in the headlines for years to come.
Headlines have come, but they are testing the notion that all publicity is good publicity.
For the second time in as many seasons, the Greek international is accused of being an ignorant bigot. Reports suggest Fountas directed a racial slur at a teammate, Nigel Robertha. Roberta, in turn, attacked Fountas. Both Fountas and Robertha have been suspended for “violations of league policy”.
Fountas’ most recent outburst is a clear indication that his intolerance stretches beyond just that of adversaries but of anyone of color.
Last season, Major League Soccer concluded that claims that Fountas used the n-word against Inter Miami defender Damion Lowe were credible. Fountas denied ever making any comments during the situation, which MLS found unlikely. These findings were not enough for MLS to levy any punishments, concluding they could not verify the claim.
A two-match “self-imposed” suspension meant Fountas missed United’s final two games of the 2022 campaign.
This time MLS must take action themselves or force DC United’s hand. Fountas cannot be allowed to evade real consequences again.
When Fountas missed last season’s final two games, it was meaningless. DC had already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Now there are stakes on the line. DC sits in the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot.
An investigation could take up to six weeks, as it did in Fountas’ last case. If so, Fountas would likely remain on suspension for the duration of the investigation.
If, once again, claims that Fountas made racist remarks are credible, he needs to be out for the rest of 2023. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And Fountas is clearly all about the smoke.
Fool MLS once, shame on you. Fool MLS twice and shame on the league that preaches inclusion.