Santiago Sosa of Atlanta United has been suspended three matches by Major League Soccer for using a homophobic slur during the club’s match against the New England Revolution on Oct. 1.
The suspension will include the United’s final match of 2022, and he will have to sit out the first two games of the 2023 season as well.
Sosa is originally from Argentina and is in his second season in Atlanta.
Interestingly, the date of the incident was the same date that Columbus Crew forward Cucho Hernandez was serving a league suspension for doing the exact same thing.
Various MLS players over the last few years have been suspended by the league for using gay slurs. It leaves one to wonder at what point players in the league will get the message and stop using gay slurs either against opponents or on social media.
Still, the league can be commended for routinely suspending players when it happens. While other leagues levy mostly meaningless fines, suspensions over time will sink in.
In addition to the suspension, Sosa will go through LGBT-inclusion training through Athlete Ally.
It’s the perfect one-two response from the league: 1) Use a suspension to send a message to the rest of the league and 2) use conversations to educate the player.