D.C. United suspend Taxi Fountas and Nigel Robertha after alleged racial slur, physical altercation between players

Taxi Fountas joined D.C. United in January. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Two D.C. United players were suspended by the club after an alleged verbal and physical altercation, according to The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer.

United already announced Taxi Fountas and Nigel Robertha had been placed on “paid administrative leave” Friday night, but did not specify the reason other than possible league policy violations. But according to reports, Fountas allegedly used a racial slur at Robertha, who responded by physically assaulting Fountas.

Fountas has been accused of using a racial slur in the past already. Major League Soccer investigated an allegation by Inter Miami in 2022 which claimed Fountas used a slur directed at then-Miami defender Aimé Mabika. MLS found the allegation credible, but couldn’t independently confirm a slur was used and therefore didn’t levy any punishments for Fountas.

It’s unclear how long both players will be out during their time away from the team. Fountas joined United in January, while Robertha joined in 2021. Fountas scored six goals in 17 games this season. Robertha scored one goal in seven games this season.

In a separate statement published four hours earlier, United announced it fired the club’s athletic trainer after an internal review determined the trainer made a “discriminatory hand gesture” in a photo published Wednesday on social media.

The Washington Post later identified the trainer as Reade Whitney and reported that he made a gesture closely associated with white supremacy during a photoshoot for the MLS All-Star Game.

D.C. currently sits ninth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings with 30 points.


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