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How did New York Red Bulls Handle the Dante Vanzeir Racism Scandal so Poorly?

The Cooligans discuss Red Bulls’ failure to handle the Vanzeir scandal appropriately and the resulting uproar from fans.

The MLS season just kicked off, and one of the league’s biggest clubs is already in hot water.

On Saturday, April 8, New York Red Bulls faced off against the San Jose Earthquakes. During the match, New York’s recently-signed striker Dante Vanzeir made a racist remark towards San Jose’s Jeremy Eboisse. As a result, the club handed him a six-game suspension and an undisclosed fine, which was later reported to be $10,000.

New York fans were extremely disappointed with the club’s minimal punishment considering MLS’ “zero tolerance” policy against racism. For reference, similar situations across the league have historically resulted in longer suspensions and much larger fines. Vanzeir signed with the Red Bulls for a club-record $5.3 million recently, which means the reported fine is just 0.19% of his contract.

In this episode of The Cooligans, MLS Extra Time’s David Gass joins Alexis Guerreros to break down New York’s mishandling of the Vanzeir scandal. Guerreros kicks off the segment by discussing Red Bulls’ fall from relevancy over the years compared to elite teams of the past. The two agree that there seems to be a general sense of indifference surrounding the club, and this latest scandal highlights that to an extent.

The two give credit to Empire Supporters Club, Viking Army Supporters Club, and Torcida 96 for organizing a walkout among Red Bulls fans over the mishandling of Vanzeir’s racist remarks. The fans are not only unhappy with Vanzeir’s limited suspension and fine, but they are also calling for manager Gerhard Struber’s job after he failed to immediately pull Vanzeir from the match following his remarks and seemingly downplayed the situation.

Alexis calls out Red Bulls for their apparent acceptance of mediocrity as of late, with this situation being a recent example, asking Gass if they can fix it. The two highlight the club’s historic “Town Hall” meeting and the acquisition of Thierry Henry as examples of New York caring about the product that is put on the field, proving that it is possible. Gass discusses the necessary change from the ground up in terms of fixing the academy and the resulting success that followed.

However, as the two point out, Red Bulls still have no trophies to show for that effort. Alexis believes the fans have the right to say “enough is enough”, and David agrees. The question remains... how can New York right the ship?


Big trouble for MLS’ biggest clubs! (feat. David Gass)

  • Three of the league’s most famous teams are struggling mightily this season! New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, and Sporting Kansas City have had difficult starts to their 2023 MLS campaigns. Fan protests, racism accusations, and overall on-field incompetence are just a few of the headline-grabbing controversies that are negatively affecting these sides. David Gass of MLS Extra Time joins the Cooligans to break down all of the MLS craziness and review the other biggest results from Matchweek 8!

Watch more below!


Be sure to check out every episode of The Cooligans on their official YouTube channel and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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