MLS investigating USMNT player Sebastian Lletget's anti-gay slur on Instagram

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Jack Baer
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United States midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) sets up for a corner kick during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Trinidad and Tobago, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
United States midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) sets up for a corner kick during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Trinidad and Tobago, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Sebastian Lletget, a midfielder on the U.S. men's national team and the L.A. Galaxy, is under investigation by the MLS after posting a video of himself calling a teammate an anti-gay slur to his Instagram story, according to Outsports' Cyd Zeigler and Dawn Ennis.

In the video posted by Lletget, the 28-year-old films himself slapping the neck of Galaxy and USMNT teammate Julian Araujo while calling him an anti-gay slur in Spanish. The video is captioned with "Unlucky brooooooo" and three laughing emoji, plus Araujo's handle. You can see it here (NSFW warning).

The video was reportedly deleted within minutes of Outsports contacting spokespeople for the Galaxy and USMNT.

The MLS later released this statement to Outsports, saying it has begun a formal investigation into Lletget's language:

"Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, and we have no tolerance for discrimination and prejudice of any kind. We are aware of the use of a homophobic slur by an L.A. Galaxy player. MLS has begun a formal investigation regarding the language used by the player and more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available."

Lletget has been a member of the USMNT senior team since 2017 and the Galaxy since 2015. He has also played for the Premier League's West Ham United.

Lletget: 'I messed up'

Lletget reportedly reached out to an Outsports reporter to address the matter himself, apologizing for the slur and promising to do better:

“I messed up. Earlier today, I posted a video that included me using a derogatory slur in Spanish.

“I have taken down a video from my Instagram story but want to address its impact and not hide from this. I take full responsibility and ownership on what was an extremely poor and ill-thought phrase and have no excuse for my actions. I am sorry and know the pain that this term has caused for so many.

“I want to be part of the solution — not part of the problem — and continue to be an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Those who know me know my character and heart. I will remain outspoken in my support and advocacy. My error doesn’t change that.

“Thanks for your accountability. I need to do and be better.”

The Galaxy also released a statement, condemning the language used in the video:

“The L.A. Galaxy do not condone homophobic or derogatory language of any kind. The club stands with the LGBTQ+ community and will address this matter internally.”

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