Major League Soccer issued a statement on Sunday in response to an alleged incident that occurred during Saturday night's Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United match at Providence Park.
Major League Soccer is aware of the alleged incident that occurred during the Portland Timbers and Minnesota United match last night. MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language, and we take these allegations very seriously. An investigation into this matter has already begun. Further information will be provided upon the completion of that investigation.
The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) also issued a statement Sunday in response to the incident in Portland.
The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) takes allegations of discrimination very seriously. In the 64th minute of the match between the Portland Timbers and Minnesota United FC on June 26, an allegation of a racist comment directed towards a Portland Timbers player was made. The referee did not witness or hear the comment, and therefore was unable to issue any disciplinary action.
The referee convened with other match officials, who confirmed they had not witnessed or heard the alleged comment. The referee then went a step further to inform captains of both teams that he was aware of the allegation, could not issue a sanction, but would be including the incident in his official match report to initiate further investigation.
In this instance, the referee acted appropriately in accordance with the annual diversity and anti-discrimination training protocols, which all PRO match officials are required to participate in each season to effectively identify and respond to discrimination of any kind during competition.
PRO and its match officials will cooperate with the MLS investigation that is already underway.