MLS to investigate alleged racist remark toward Jeremy Ebobisse in Red Bulls-Earthquakes clash

Major League Soccer announced it will open an investigation after San Jose Earthquakes striker Jeremy Ebobisse said a New York Red Bulls player made a racist remark during the second half of Saturday's game that nearly caused his team to walk off the field.

Ebobisse did not reveal the name of the player, but the incident allegedly occurred in the 54th minute of the Earthquakes' 1-1 draw with the Red Bulls.

Ebobisse said San Jose continued to play because the player who made the remark said it was not directed toward anyone in particular.

"What is important for me to share is that I know what I heard and the reason why I felt, after a lengthy conversation, we should continue with the game is because the player who said the word claimed it was not aimed at any of us," Ebobisse said.

The incident prompted 21 minutes of stoppage time at the conclusion of the second half. Following the match, MLS said an investigation into the situation will take place.

"Major League Soccer is aware of an incident wherein a New York Red Bulls player is alleged to have used language that violates league policy during the 54th minute of the New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes match tonight," MLS said in a statement. "MLS has zero tolerance for abusive and offensive language and takes these allegations seriously.

"An investigation into this matter will begin promptly. Further information will be provided upon completion of that investigation."

Ebobisse has already made it clear that he is supportive of the investigation and doesn't want emotions to interfere with the facts of the incident.

"It is important we dig out all the facts. I want to be as open as possible here," Ebobisse added. "There is a lot of uncertainty here, I want to respect what will hopefully be a robust investigation. A difficult situation. I am grateful I was with my teammates.

"... Whether that is a good faith comment or not we shall see as the investigation goes on. But a difficult moment where players were put in charge, have to manage all sorts of emotions because the system is not robust enough."

New York said it will be fully cooperating with the league's investigation.

"It was brought to our attention during Saturday's match that one of our players allegedly used a racial slur on the pitch," the Red Bulls said in a statement posted to social media. "The New York Red Bulls take these matters very seriously and promptly reported the allegations to Major League Soccer. We will cooperate with the League's investigation.

"The New York Red Bulls do not condone any form of harassment or discrimination."