The US football club LA Galaxy and one of its players, Aleksandar Katai, have announced “a mutual decision” to part ways, because of two Instagram posts made earlier in the week by his wife.
Tea Katai shared two posts that have been described as racist and violent by the club, both concerning the protests and rioting in the US after the death of George Floyd.
One of the posts is interpreted as her literal call for those taking part in the protests to be killed, (she said “Kill the shit” in reference to an image of police cars facing protesters) while the second, showing a looter taking off with a box of Nike shoes, came with an ironic play on words, reading, “Black Nikes Matter.”
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The posts, made earlier in the week, that have since been deleted, caused an uproar in the comments on Instagram, with users condemning their content and accusing Tea Katai of racism. According to reports in Katai’s native Serbia, some of them went further than expressing outrage over the controversial and inflammatory posts, to make threats against the pair and even their young child.
After backlash, in an attempt to save his career, Aleksandar Katai himself denounced his wife’s posts as unacceptable and say that he did not share her views on these issues, as well as to say that he was taking full responsibility and promise that his family would “take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community.”
But this was clearly not enough to allow him to keep his job with LA Galaxy, and the footballer – who is not a household name, but has been called up to the national team on several occasions – is now leaving the club thanks to “a mutual decision” taken by the two parties.
Earlier, the MSL club also condemned Tea Katai’s posts, saying they asked that they be removed from Instagram, and declaring that the organization stands against racism.
Meanwhile, Aleksandar Katai, who previously played in Chicago for two seasons and has only played two games for LA Galaxy before the league was suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic, will have to continue his career elsewhere, after having been found guilty by association.