Los Angeles Galaxy and USA midfielder Sebastian Lletget has been suspended two matches and fined for using a homophobic slur on Instagram this month, Major League Soccer said Friday.
Lletget will also be required to attend diversity, equity and inclusion training through Athlete Ally, the league said.
Lletget had apologized after drawing criticism for the post, which was contained in a video he posted on his Instagram account.
Lletget used the Spanish-language slur as he clapped teammate Julian Araujo on the back of the neck at a Galaxy training session before the season started.
“I messed up and I’m trying to take full responsibility for it,” Lletget said. “I said a word that shouldn’t have been said. And although there’s been a lot of discussion and debate about the meaning of the word because of different dialects in Spanish and cultures, the truth is it’s a harmful word and it shouldn’t have been said.”
Calling the incident “a moment of pure stupidity”, Lletget, who has played for the Galaxy since 2015 and most recently appeared for the United States in two friendlies in March, said he hoped he could rectify it.
“MLS acknowledges and appreciates Lletget’s prompt apology and the accountability he has taken for his actions,” MLS said in announcing the punishment.
His suspension means he will miss the Galaxy’s next two matches, against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday and against the Seattle Sounders on May 2.