FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans has stepped away from the club while Major League Soccer investigates “extremely inappropriate comments” made by the 61-year-old Dutchman.
The Athletic reported Friday that Jans had used a racial slur earlier this preseason.
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According to Cincinnati.com, Jans told club president Jeff Berding the incident happened when “he said the word when singing along with music played in the locker room” and that a player confronted him to tell him that’s inappropriate in this country.
The same report mentions an awkward and “inappropriate” reference to slavery from Jans before an October match. That time, it was explained that “Jans spent time at the nation’s memorials and was meant to inspire the team to overcome adversity.”
FC Cincinnati issued the following statement on the incident and investigation, saying the club will conduct “training” for every member of the organization:
“FC Cincinnati was founded and operates with three core values: (1) being inclusive and family-friendly, (2) having a strong and visible presence in the community, and (3) winning on the field.
“When club leadership was made aware of the allegation, we were very surprised as building a caring and committed culture has been a focus of Ron’s leadership.
“We want to fully understand the nature of the incident and allow for an environment for our players to speak freely to any locker room issues. Therefore, while both the Club and Major League Soccer work together, Ron will step away from the team during the investigation.
“While the investigation is undertaken, the Club is also committed to ensuring every member of the club has a deeper appreciation and awareness for differences in cultures and backgrounds, and will institute training for every member of the organization.
“The Club will not have further comment on this matter until the conclusion of the joint investigation with MLS.”
Hired in August, Jans is 1-5-4 as FCC boss. He’s spent most of his playing and managing career in the Netherlands, leading Heerenveen to the Europa League and PEC Zwolle to the KNVB Cup.
2019 interim coach Yoann Damet and former PEC Zwolle man Ivar van Dinteren will lead the club during the investigation.
Ron Jans will step away from the team during an independent investigation. In his place, Yoann Damet and Ivar van Dinteren will lead FC Cincinnati.
— Pat Brennan (@PBrennanENQ) February 14, 2020