Serbian soccer midfielder Aleksandar Katai was released by the L.A. Galaxy on Friday in the wake of inflammatory statements made by his wife on Instagram about people participating in protests following the murder of George Floyd. The Galaxy announced on social media and their official web site on Friday that Katai and the team had mutually agreed to part ways.
In a series of Instagram story posts written in Serbian, Katai’s wife, Tea, urged law enforcement officers to “kill the sh*ts,” in reference to protesters. She also referred to other protesters as “disgusting cattle” and, in one post, stated “Black Nikes Matter,” including a picture that appeared to depict a looter running with a box of Nike shoes.
Screenshots of Katai’s posts quickly spread on social media, igniting an outcry from fans of the club, as well as supporters of the movement.
Responding to her incendiary posts and the resulting outrage, the Galaxy issued a statement on June 3 condemning Katai’s point of view and reaffirming the team’s stance against racism and violence.
“The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality. The LA Galaxy stand with communities of color, and especially the Black community, in the protests and fight against systemic racism, social inequality, bigotry and violence. The LA Galaxy will hold a meeting with [Aleksandar] Katai on Thursday, June 4 and will determine next steps.”
As a result of that meeting, Katai now finds himself without a team just one day after MLS and the MLS Players Association came to an agreement on resuming the 2020 season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As reported previously by The Inquisitr, the league had been weighing return-to-play scenarios for several weeks.
The 29-year-old Katai joined the Galaxy in December through the use of Targeted Allocation Money. He previously spent two seasons with the Chicago Fire and has also played for a number of international clubs. While playing for Red Star Belgrade, he was the Serbian SuperLiga’s top goal scorer during the 2015-16 season. Additionally, the winger has made multiple appearances for the Serbian national team.
For his part, Katai publicly denounced his wife’s remarks via Instagram and apologized for the pain they had caused both his team and “allies in the fight against racism.”
“The posts made by my wife, Tea Katai, on her social media platforms were unacceptable. These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family,” he wrote.