The Vancouver Whitecaps say that three of their academy players have suffered injuries with one being hospitalized after an alleged racially-motivated attack at an outdoor gathering on Saturday.
The Major League Soccer [MLS] side say that the trio, all of whom remain unnamed, suffered injuries in the incident, with one of them subsequently being taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries which will necessitate surgery.
The Burnaby Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP) say that they have launched an investigation into the attack, with the Whitecaps stating that at least one suspect has been arrested in connection to the incident.
“Enough is enough,” the team said in a statement posted to their website.
“We are heartbroken and sickened by the allegations and strongly condemn all forms of discrimination, racism, and hate.
“Such disgusting behavior has absolutely no place in our community.
“We will do everything to support our players affected and urge the toughest punishment possible for those responsible.”
The players, whose ages are also unknown at this time, are understood to have been developed by the Whitecaps’ academy program for developing promising players with a view to advancing them to the first-team squad.
The program works with players aged between 14 and 23 years old at their training base at the University of British Columbia.
Reacting online, several fans of the club called for authorities to take a hardline stance against the alleged attackers.
Hopefully when these people are charged all the sports teams in Vancouver suspend them from attending any games for life
— Joe Capriglione (@JoeCapriglione) August 16, 2021
Bring the suspect to the game. Let the fans handle it from there.
— Miki Attack (@ebwana) August 15, 2021
Horrific absolutely horrific. Please tell those affected the rest of British Columbia stand beside them there is only one race. The human race, unfortunately some of those people have lost their humanity. So sorry this happened.
— Kris G (@CanuckKris) August 16, 2021
“Hopefully when these people are charged, all the sports teams in Vancouver suspend them from attending any games for life,” wrote one fan online, while another prescribing another form of justice altogether.
“Bring the suspect to the game. Let the fans handle it from there,” they wrote.
“Horrific, absolutely horrific,” said a third. “Please tell those affected the rest of British Columbia stand beside them.
“There is only one race: the human race. Unfortunately, some of those people have lost their humanity. So sorry this happened.”