LA Galaxy get rid of Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Katai
29-year-old Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Katai is now a free agent.
That’s after the LA Galaxy got rid of the player following comments his wife made on social media regarding the Black Lives Matter protests in America.
To be clear from the outset, Aleksandar Katai never said anything about the BLM movement.
In fact, as you’ll see below, he’s publicly come out in support of the protests, while he’s also criticised his partner on social media.
View this post on Instagram
Tea Katai’s disgraceful Instagram comments on Black Lives Matter protests
Tea Katai posted several appalling updates on her Instagram Stories account when the protests in America broke out last week.
In one post, she screengrabbed an image of a police car driving into protesters. Writing in Serbian, she commented, “kill the sh*ts”.
In a second post which featured a black woman holding a Nike box, she wrote “Black Nikes Matter”.
In a third post, as reported by the AP, she described protesters as “disgusting cattle.”
When your wife ruins your career… Aleksander Katai wife “kill the shits” pic.twitter.com/JRIoR6Q8w3
— (@MotorJohn121) June 3, 2020
LA Galaxy fans protested for the club to sack Aleksandar Katai
Tea Katai was based in Chicago when she posted her racist updates on Instagram Stories. Aleksandar Katai was in LA.
Yet, despite the fact that the player himself did nothing wrong, small groups of LA Galaxy fans showed up at the club’s stadium to call for the #7 to be fired.
— Vita (@vita_0006) June 4, 2020
Katai only joined the LA Galaxy last summer from the Chicago Fire.
The Serb featured in both of the LA Galaxy’s matches in the MLS before the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Aleksandar Katai slammed his wife Tea on Instagram
Last Thursday, before the LA Galaxy finally pushed Katai out the door, the midfielder took to social media to have his say.
In a move unlikely to help with marital bliss, Aleksandar Katai slammed his wife Tea in public for her comments.
Aleksandar addressed “a mistake from my family” and saying he took full responsibility, while apologising “for the pain these posts have caused the LA Galaxy family and all allies in the fight against racism”.
Two days later, the LA Galaxy ended his contract.
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How the LA Galaxy got rid of Aleksandar Katai
The story of Aleksandar Katai’s exit from the LA Galaxy has become a focus of attention for the right-wing media in America.
Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson has used this case as a baton to whack the left with.
In his commentary on the story this week, Carlson, who claimed “Katai’s wife posted criticism online of the looters… a lot of people felt that way”, then pronounced:
The management of the LA Galaxy force Katai to apologise for his wife and denounce her.
Then they made his endorse Black Lives Matter, then they fired him anyway.
Of course, Tucker Carlson’s commentary was wholly misleading.
As explained by the LA Times, the LA Galaxy agreed a deal with Katai to buy him out of his contract.
Galaxy president Chris Klein has told the LA Times that Katai was fully cooperative in the saga:
It was very professional. I would not characterise it as tense at all. He had a lot of hurt and remorse and was very understanding through this process.
We believe strongly that we’re a club that represents our staff, represents our players, represents our fans and our community.
The decision, in that respect, was not a difficult one. We have to hold to those values. This is not a soccer decision.
A statement from the LA Galaxy on Tea Katai. pic.twitter.com/tfGDMUomIo
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 4, 2020
How much was Katai’s LA Galaxy pay off?
All MLS teams work within a wage cap, however the clubs rarely reveal the precise details of individual players’ contracts.
That said, the only information we know for sure, as reported by the LA Times, is that Katai was earning “significantly more than the $612,500 (a season) allowed under MLS rules.”
The Corner of the Galaxy podcast have estimated that the LA Galaxy may have paid Katai $1 million to get him off their roster.
Aleksandar Katai: Conspiracy theories, Chicago Fire pride jersey refusal
Many on social media have come out in support of Aleksandar Katai.
Is it fair that he was fired for something he didn’t do?
However, others seem to suggest that Katai has a bad legacy when it comes to similar social justice issues.
There’s a rumour doing the rounds on social media claiming that during his time at the Chicago Fire, Katai refused to wear a Pride jersey in support of the gay community.
However, we’ve yet to find any actual evidence backing up this claim.
This is why the Fire didn’t wear pride jerseys in a game last year. Not sure if it was because of Katai alone or because of other eastern Europeans on the team as well. https://t.co/epxsUg9K56
— Nicole Hack (@nikhak) June 3, 2020
I’m not exactly sure. I’ve heard Chicago didn’t wear their pride jerseys because some player(s) refused to. Supposedly, Katai was one of them…
— L.A. Native (@_LA_Native) June 4, 2020
CJ Sapong blasts former Chicago Fire teammate Aleksandar Katai
Chicago Fire’s CJ Sapong has spoken publicly about that Katai, LA Galaxy situation, and Sapong has shown little sympathy for the Serbian footballer.
Indeed, Sapong revealed that after he joined the Fire, “Katai did not look me in my eyes for the first two months I was there.” He continued:
I swear this dude was not passing to me when I was in scoring positions.
This man is at an impossible angle. I’m making a back post run, and he’s trying to shoot it upper 90 from a 30 degree angle. Like, dude.
Watch the interview below.
This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.
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