Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy released player Aleksandar Katai on Friday after his wife directed racist remarks at protestors in now-deleted social media posts after the death of George Floyd.
The Galaxy said they “mutually agreed to part ways” with Katai after reaching a financial settlement. The announcement came one day after Katai met with team officials.
Katai’s wife, Tea, made racist remarks and called for violence against protestors in a series of Instagram posts earlier this week. She called for protestors to be killed and referred to them in Serbian as “disgusting cattle,” according to TMZ.
Galaxy officials condemned the “racist and violent” posts in a statement earlier this week.
“The LA Galaxy strongly condemned the social media posts and requests their immediate removal,” the team said in a statement. “The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seems to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial in equality.”
Katai signed with the Galaxy in December after two seasons with the Chicago Fire. He apologized on his wife’s behalf.
"I strongly condemn white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter. This is a mistake from my family and I take full responsibility,” Katai said in a statement. "I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community."
Nationwide protests ensued after Floyd’s death in police custody last week. Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck prior to his death, was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide. Three other Minneapolis police officers also face criminal charges for their involvement in Floyd's death.
The MLS and its players union plan to resume play with a tournament this summer after a lengthy pause related to the coronavirus pandemic. The two sides also agreed to a five-year labor deal extension.