United Soccer League announced on Wednesday that it has suspended Orange County Blues midfielder Richard Chaplow two games, as well as fining him an undisclosed amount, for allegedly using “offensive and abusive language” towards LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers.
“In the heat of the last 15 minutes of the game a player from the opposing team called me a ‘queer’ repeatedly,” Rogers wrote on Facebook. “To be honest my initial reaction was one of shock.”
The USL and MSL both released statements Sunday night saying they would investigate and reaffirmed their “zero tolerance for homophobia,” ESPN FC reports.
After consulting video, speaking with the referee, and players and staff from both teams, the USL Disciplinary Committee found enough evidence to take action.
“The USL has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” Jake Edwards, President of the USL said in a statement. “We cannot, nor will we, condone any language that is counter to the values we have instilled throughout the USL.”
“At no point in the statement is a homophobic slur made reference to, and the simple reason for this is it didn’t happen,” Chaplow said in an interview with The Telegraph. “I swore several times at Rogers for overreacting to a foul, but at no time was the language homophobic and no evidence has been found of this, hence the way the statement has been wrote.
“I feel it’s important that people realise what the ban is for. I have a close family member that is openly part of LGBT community so to suggest I’m homophobic is ridiculous and there is no evidence to support this.”
A USL League source confirmed that it could not determine if the slur had been used and that Chaplow was suspended and fined for swearing at Rogers.
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