Following a 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers Sunday night, the San Jose Earthquakes are the middle of some damage control that involves something more serious than soccer.
In Sunday’s defeat, Quakes forward Alan Gordon was ejected after receiving his second yellow card of the match following a foul on a Portland player.
But minutes earlier, Gordon was seen on the television broadcast using a slur toward Johnson.
After the match, Gordon released a statement through the team.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who watched tonight’s match on NBC Sports Network. The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions,” the statement read.
Will Johnson, the Portland player who Gordon directed the slur to, was diplomatic after the game.
“I think it’s probably better that I don’t comment on that,” he said. “It’s a very sensitive matter. I’d prefer the league go through with their protocol.”
It’s standard procedure for Major League Soccer to review the video of matches that involve a red card.
Gordon was escorted from the locker room after the game by team personnel and did not speak with reporters after match.
The loss dropped the Earthquakes to 2-3-2.
On Monday, San Jose President David Kaval issued a statement.
“We are working hand in hand with the league right now on this very serious matter,” the statement read. “Alan’s comments do not reflect the views or beliefs of our organization. We have always promoted an atmosphere of acceptance and equality in our stadium and amongst our diverse and passionate fans.
“I am appalled by the use of the hurtful language on the pitch last night. We will use the collective energy and resources of our club to foster an inclusive environment for all of our fans. I hope to use this deplorable incident as a tool to help eradicate offensive language of this kind.
“For our fans, I know the organization has let you down. I will do my best to take the necessary actions to make sure we once again can be viewed as a beacon of diversity, community, and equality.”
Portland is 2-0-4 against the Earthquakes. Sunday’s game was the first of a home-and-home with San Jose, and the two teams meet again next Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium.