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Jozy Altidore subjected to racist abuse in Dutch Cup match

Jan 29, 2013, 4:34 PM EDT

Vitesse Arnhem v AZ Alkmaar - Eredivisie Getty Images

European soccer’s racism problems hit close to home Tuesday for one U.S. soccer star, with AZ striker Jozy Altidore subjected to monkey chants and other race-based derision during today’s KNVB Cup match at second-tier Den Bosch.

“I’m deeply hurt by these people,” Den Bosch’s director told reporters at De Vliert stadium in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. “I’m ashamed of what just happened. I have no words for it.”

The abuse, which later escalated to fans throwing objects onto the field, forced officials to momentarily stop the match in the second half. Altidore continued playing and notched a goal and an assist in AZ’s 5-0 victory.

“It is terribly sad that this can happen for those involved and for lovers of football in the Netherlands,” former U.S. international Earnie Stewart told a television audience at halftime. Stewart is AZ’s director of football.

Two times in the second half the public address system warned the section of Des Bosch fans responsible for the chants about their inappropriate behavior. The second warning coincided with the pause in the match, with fans cautioned that a final announcement would lead to the cancellation of the match.

According to AP reports, referee Reinold Wiedemeijer wanted to stop the match; however, Altidore “persuaded him not to.”

MORE: Den Bosch issues apology to Jozy Altidore

This isn’t the first time a high-profile American has suffered racial abuse in the Europe. DeMarcus Beasley, during his time at PSV Einhoven from 2004 to 2007, described being targeted by monkey noises. In 2009, Maurice Edu claimed to the the target of racial abuse while at Rangers.

Also in 2009, defender Oguchi Onyewu was involved in a high profile incident while at Standard Liege in Belgium. Onyewu claimed Anderlecht defender Jelle Van Damme called him a “dirty ape.” Onyewu later sued over the act but withdrew his claim after getting an apology from Van Damme.

Unfortunately, 23-year-old Altidore’s name is now added to the list of high profile Americans who have experienced the worst of European soccer. In reality, it’s unlikely this is the first time Altidore’s had to play through such abuse. As of today, it’s probably just the best known.

On a day when most at home would have celebrated his 20th all-competition goal of the season, Altidore makes headlines because of the ignorance of a group of Den Bosch supporters.

  1. mdac1012 - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    I thought the Europeans were supposed to be more sophisticated than us ugly Americans?

    • randomhookup - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      When it comes to racist incidents, Europe has once again paved the way.

  2. SD1 Timbers Special Forces - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    And people hold up Europe as the gold standard of soccer in the world. Please.

    It’s called the old world for a reason, we left them behind. And man, are they behind.

  3. randomhookup - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I believe the name of the competition is the “KNVB Cup” (just don’t ask me what that stands for in Dutch).

    • Richard Farley - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Thanks for that – I always transpose those two.

      The acronym is basically Dutch for Royal Dutch Football League … or maybe Association and not league.

  4. wfjackson3 - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Is it possible for someone in Europe to publicly express racist ideas and still find employment? I know that racism is still alive in the US, but the ‘social pariah’ factor seems to keep most of the idiots from expressing their views around others.

    • mdac1012 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Completely agree, the only thing worse than being labeled a racist in the U.S. is being labeled a child molester. Your better off being labeled a murderer, than a racist these days and that’s not an exaggeration.

  5. seanb20124 - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Bunch of Romney supporters across the pond no doubt.

    • genebrooklyn - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:44 AM

      The usual—anyone who disagrees with a person of your brilliance must be a racist I suppose. Classy.

    • corgster - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      Quite to logical leap you made. Your face must hurt.

    • bbsqrd - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      More likely the imperial president ordered his drones to pay for the fans to heckle Jozy, just so the liberal media could take the story and run with it, as if it was tied to the right…Really, get a life.

  6. uoflcardfan08 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Why does the UEFA(?) continue to put up with this crap? If I were a ref, I would threaten the crowd that, if racist taunts are heard, the opposing team automatically wins. That would shut them up.

    • wfjackson3 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      If we are going to suggest heavy penalties, I would just tear gas the section that was chanting racist stuff.

  7. korules - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    “It’s called the old world for a reason, we left them behind. And man, are they behind.”
    Really?!
    Jeez, you guys act as if someone just walked into a school and shot a bunch of people….

    Seriously though, what happened sucked, but it’s being handled. Those guys won’t get away with what they did.

  8. mvktr2 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I support their right to say whatever they want so long as it’s not a threat.

    I also support private businesses’ right to oversee whom has the privilege of attending their matches. Problem, meet solution. Time to take out the trash.

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