The LA Galaxy soccer team cut its 29-year-old Serbian forward Aleksandar Katai on Friday, not because of anything he did, but because of his wife, report Deadline and CNN. The team had become aware that Tea Katai, also from Serbia, recently posted messages online mocking protesters at George Floyd demonstrations. Among the "racist and violent" social media messages on Tea Katai's Instagram was a now-deleted screenshot of NYPD officers driving through a crowd of protesters, with Tea's caption, in Serbian, reading: "Kill the sh--s!" She also captioned another now-deleted photo of a looting suspect holding shoeboxes, adding her own "Black Nikes Matter" caption, and in another Serbian post called protesters "disgusting cattle," per the AP.
Before he was let go, Aleksander Katai tried to make amends, posting an apology on his own Instagram in which he called his wife's posts "unacceptable." "These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family," he wrote, adding that he "strongly [condemns] white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter." It was apparently too late to save his job, however. "We believe strongly that we're a club that represents our staff, represents our players, represents our fans and our community," said Chris Klein, the team's president. "The decision, in that respect, was not a difficult one. ... This is not a soccer decision." The team says they "mutually agreed to part ways" with Katai, with Klein adding that his now-ex player has been "very understanding through this process." (Read more Los Angeles Galaxy stories.)