US men's national team defender Mark McKenzie, head coach Gregg Berhalter and US Soccer have condemned those who racially abused the defender on social media after the team's 3-2 victory over Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League final on Sunday.
The abuse became public knowledge shortly after the USMNT's win, with McKenzie sharing just some of the abuse he and his family received on Instagram both during and after the game. The 22-year-old addressed the racist comments in a Twitter post on Tuesday, saying that "we as a people must do better." He also called for organizations to hold those who send racist messages accountable for breaking anti-harassment policies common among social media platforms.
Earlier Tuesday, Berhalter addressed the matter during pre-match media availability. The head coach noted that racist abuse directed towards soccer players on social media has received attention in England, and called the discriminatory messages "disgusting."
"In our business, professional sports, you take enough criticism about performance, and about guys having an off game, saying you're not a good player or something like that," Berhalter said. "To bring something like race into it is absolutely disgusting and out of bounds and has no place for it. I've been following the players in England as well and now it hits closer to home."
Berhalter added that the team is supportive of McKenzie, something the federation echoed in a statement Wednesday. "If you make racist, homophobic, vulgar or disrespectful comments while hiding behind the anonymity of social media," the federation wrote, "you are not a true fan. And you are not welcome. Ever."
There is currently no word on whether or not there will be further investigation or punishment for those who directed the racist abuse toward McKenzie and his family.