Angel City FC players kneel during national anthem at Saturday's debut Wave game at Snapdragon Stadium.
Angel City FC players kneel during national anthem at Saturday’s debut Wave game at Snapdragon Stadium. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Wave officials are asking fans who attended Saturday’s debut soccer match at Snapdragon Stadium to help shed light on an alleged hate incident.

In a tweet posted Monday evening, the National Women’s Soccer League club said a Wave fan reportedly directed a “hateful slur and actions” towards two visiting Angel City FC fans.

“At Wave FC, we condemn this behavior in the strongest possible terms,” said president Jill Ellis. “We take a zero tolerance approach to discrimination, including racism on and off the pitch. We want all fans to feel safe and have an enjoyable experience at out matches.”

In a 189-word statement, the first-year club said it has been in contact with those “directly impacted as well as a few key witnesses.”

The club said it’s working with stadium security and staff to further investigate the incident.

“We will be taking additional actions to ensure all fans feel welcome and safe at out matches and in our community,” the tweet added. “Any fan who was present in that area of the venue and has information that can assist the investigation should contact the club at [email protected].”

It wasn’t immediately clear who said what, but a reply to the Twitter statement referenced the fact that all but one Angel City players knelt during the national anthem.

Martín Macías Jr. tweeted a photo and said: “This is the woman who told us ‘stand for the flag or get the fuck out of the country.’ No racism and xenophobia in fútbol.” (It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Wave was citing this incident.)

Macías, an audio producer with Lemonade Media, said that after the game, “my partner and I were assaulted by a white SD fan who’d earlier told me to ‘get the fuck out of our country.’ She jumped two rows and pushed a family aside just to assault us.”

He said he was seated in Section 328, Row 8, at the stadium, where 32,000-plus fans made up the largest crowd in NWSL history.

“If you were in/near that section and took any photos/video after the final whistle let us know,” he said.

Others suggested the fan involved should be banned from attending future Wave games.

But another tweet suggested the incident happened elsewhere — in the “supporter’s section — which was in the end zone area. (Section 328 is upper deck midfield on the west side.)

In March, the women’s soccer league imposed a lifetime ban on a fan for “an alleged act of racial discrimination between two fans” in the stands during a match between the North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC.

“The NWSL is committed to ensuring its matches and events are a place for celebrating its teams, entertaining fans, building community and advancing the values of equity and inclusion,” the league said. “Racism and discrimination will not be tolerated by anyone associated with the NWSL, including its fans, or at any league-sponsored events.”

In October 2020, a Phoenix Rising FC player who directed a homophobic slur at San Diego Loyal midfielder Collin Martin was suspended by USL Championship for six games, covering the entire 2020 playoffs.


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Ellen Bullock