The United Soccer League suspended Orange County midfielder Richard Chaplow for two games and fined him an undisclosed amount for “offensive and abusive language” toward an opposing player.
The ruling came Wednesday, three days after the league’s disciplinary committee announced it would investigate an incident between Chaplow and LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers. After a match Saturday, Rogers took to Facebook to claim that an opposing player called him a “queer” repeatedly.
Rogers is the only openly gay player in Major League Soccer. He was playing with the LA Galaxy’s reserve team in the USL as he works his way back from an Achilles injury when the incident occurred.
“In the heat of the last 15 minutes of the game, a player from the opposing team called me a queer repeatedly,” Rogers wrote in a post Sunday. “To be honest, my initial reaction was shock. This is my fourth season back in the MLS and I’ve yet to hear another player use that or any other gay slur during a game.
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“I quickly became enraged. I spent the drive home wishing I had channeled my inner Zidane and punched or head-butted this player.”
The USL said the suspension was determined after video review, along with conversations with the referee and players and staff for both teams. The league did not directly refer to the language Chaplow used.
The USL is a 29-team league that includes the Swope Park Rangers, an affiliate of Sporting Kansas City.
“The USL has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” said Jake Edwards, president of the league. “We cannot, nor will we, condone any language that is counter to the values we have instilled throughout the USL.”