MLS Commissioner Don Garber has suspended Seattle Sounders defender Burch for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for using unacceptable and offensive language towards an opponent in the 75th minute of the game against Real Salt Lake on Thursday, Nov. 8th.
Burch was captured by television cameras using a homophobic slur in Seattle's 1-0 win that sent the team through to the Western Conference Championship. He later issued an apology.
“Major League Soccer has a zero tolerance policy in response to this type of behavior from its players or staff,” said Garber, in a statement. “While I understand and believe that Mr. Burch is remorseful, Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.”
Garber additionally mandated that Burch attend sensitivity and diversity training, in addition to the training that MLS clubs participate in at the begining of every season.
Burch will serve the first two games of his suspension during both of Seattle's games against the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Championship. Should Seattle advance to MLS Cup, he will also sit out the title game. Should Seattle not advance, he will serve the final game of his suspension for the first game of the 2013 MLS regular season.