Jozy incident adds to list of US players targeted by racism

Oguchi Onyewu - October 11, 2011

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

US national team striker Jozy Altidore is not the first American player to be subject to racist abuse overseas.

The chants directed at Altidore in a Tuesday night Dutch Cup victory represent the latest incident to capture worldwide headlines, but two other USMNT players have had similar experiences in Europe.

US defender Oguchi Onyewu (above) accused Anderlecht's Jelle Van Damme of calling him a "dirty monkey" during a May 2009 match when he played for Standard Liege in Belgium. Onyewu sued Van Damme and later dropped the suit following an apology from Van Damme.

"I can’t control the 20,000 or 40,000 people who are screaming or who it’s coming from," Onyewu told The New York Times in August 2009. "But when someone directs it to me face to face, that I won’t accept."

Similar to Altidore, winger DaMarcus Beasley faced racist taunts at more than one UEFA Champions League match while with PSV Eindhoven and Glasgow Rangers.

The first incident took place in August 2004 in Serbia during an away match at Red Star Belgrade. Three years later in August 2007, the issue resurfaced on the road when Rangers faced FK Zeta in Montenegro. FK Zeta were later fined roughly $15,000 by UEFA.

"I've faced that kind of situation throughout my whole career in Europe," Beasley said at the time. "This is the 21st century, and we are still having trouble with it. That's not normal, not just for us, black players, that's not normal for all other normal people."

American forward Jeremiah White was attacked in the streets of Belgrade when he donned the colors of OFK Beograd. A month later, he left the club because of the club's policy of transferring players to Russia and Ukraine.

"I was walking with some friends of mine and we did encounter one pocket of people who had a problem because we were black," White told SoccerTimes.com in 2004. "They had a problem and we had to kind of defuse it and get out. The one guy, we kind of handled him. And then, like 25 guys started to come at us."

Maurice Edu has also had to deal with multiple racist incidents while at Rangers. Just last year, police arrested a man for racially abusing Edu on Twitter. And back in 2009, he was leaving Ibrox after a UEFA Champions League match when his own fans targeted him for racist abuse.

Edu later commented via Twitter: "Not sure what hurt more: result or being racially abused by couple of r own fans as I'm getting in my car."