'Racist incidents' halt work on Cincinnati's soccer stadium

Construction of FC Cincinnati's stadium was halted after "racist incidents" from two subcontractors. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Construction of FC Cincinnati's stadium was halted after "racist incidents" from two subcontractors. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The construction on FC Cincinnati’s new soccer stadium has been halted due to two “racist incidents” that recently occurred at the job site.

No details were given about what the incidents were, but David Spaulding, vice president and general manager at Turner Construction, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that two subcontractors were responsible.

“This past week, we had two racist incidents from subcontractors on the work site,” Spaulding said in a statement provided to the Enquirer. “Turner has zero tolerance for racism and hate. We removed the people responsible for these actions from the site and they will not be allowed back.”

Spaulding said that work was stopped at the build site so that every single person working on the stadium project could participate in anti-bias training.

“Work will resume when training is complete,” Spaulding said. “We will continue to collaborate with our client, trade partners, and unions to make clear to every person on site how important it is to have a work environment free of racism and hate and where all people feel welcomed and treated with respect.”

FC Cincinnati responds

FC Cincinnati released a statement to the Enquirer about the incidents at the site of their future stadium.

“FC Cincinnati was shocked to hear of two racist incidents on the stadium job site,” a statement from the team said. “FC Cincinnati will not tolerate racism on the stadium job site or any part of the FC Cincinnati organization. We all must be vigilant in working to address systemic racism that unfortunately exists within our country and local community.”

“We are proud of the tremendous work of inclusion in our stadium construction and by our FC Cincinnati Foundation’s support for programs that tackle racial disparities in our community,” the statement from the team said. “FC Cincinnati is fully committed to addressing racial inequality and inequity in our community and beyond.”

This isn’t the first time FC Cincinnati has dealt with racism connected to their club. Coach Ron Jans was investigated in February for allegedly using a racial slur in front of the team, and for making inappropriate comments about slavery. Jans subsequently resigned.

In July, a fan was banned from FC Cincinnati games for life after directing a racist tweet at Fatai Alashe and Joe Gyau, two Black players on the club. Alashe and Gyau had appeared on the Back Yard Footie podcast, and Alashe criticized the club’s handling of the Jans incident. The fan took issue with those comments and sent them a racist tweet. FC Cincinnati responded by forbidding the fan from attending another match ever again.

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