- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 29, 2013
- 0 Comments
- Jorge Vergara
Oh boy. This could get ugly before long. Wait, what am I talking about, it is already ugly.
When Jorge Vergara began aggressively “re-Mexican’izing” Chivas USA both on and off the field, you just knew someone would get upset by it and take the club to court. It turns out two former Academy coaches are now doing so.
The suit announced today by the firm representing former Chivas USA coaches Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos alleges the club explicitly and intentionally sought to rid its staff of non-Mexican and non-Latino members. The on-field effects have been obvious during the past season as non-Mexican players were released or traded for little in return.
Some would have expected a player to do this first as they did drive some players out of town without giving them a landing spot. But seeing that it was a coach was expected in my mind. They aren’t paid by the league like players are, no, they are salary employees like anyone else in the front office staff of a club.
The allegations written out are pretty interesting and…well…aren’t that shocking.
CUSA sought to “implement a discriminatory policy similar to the ethnocentric ‘Mexican-only’ policy that exists at Chivas de Guadalajara.” This included “replacing players and staff who had no Mexican or Latino heritage,” and appointing Mexican nationals to the team’s top executive positions.
Mr. Vergara called all Chivas USA employees to a meeting and announced that non-Spanish speaking employees would be fired. It quotes Mr. Vergara as saying, “If you don’t speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy, unless you speak Chinese, which is not even a language.”
In late November of 2012, the complaint states, Jose David, the team’s newly hired president and chief business officer, asked Mr. Chronopoulos to report which Academy players and coaches were Mexican or Mexican-American and which were not.
In late December Mr. David directed Mr. Chronopoulos to collect ethnic and national origin data on the youngsters enrolled in the Chivas Academy and their parents, according to the complaint, which states that “When the requests for this information were sent to the parents, many of them were offended and refused to provide it.”
This wasn’t the first time that I had heard this whole “if you don’t speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy” thing. LA-based journalist Luis Bueno, someone who has covered the team for a few years said earlier on Twitter that he had heard it back in the fall.
@soccermorning 1st thing Vergara told coaches/employees last November: If you don’t speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy.
— LB (@BuenoSoccer) May 29, 2013
How the club and the league handles this lawsuit will be an interesting question. Things are already really ugly with that ownership with reports that the league could take over the club and then sell it off. While the league has denied all of that rumoring about the ownership of Chivas USA, seeing another black mark on that group certainly doesn’t help matters out.