San Diego Wave investigate racist incident at stadium opener

(Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

The San Diego Wave are is investigating an alleged racist incident from Saturday’s match against Angel City FC.

The game was meant to be a celebration, with the team shattering the NWSL’s all-time attendance record with a sellout crowd of 32,000 at its new home, Snapdragon Stadium.

The NWSL expansion club, though, issued a statement Monday night revealing their investigation into a report that a Wave fan “directed a hateful slur and actions” toward two Angel City fans.

Wave officials have contacted those impacted by the incident and are working with stadium security and staff, per the club statement. The club also promised to take additional actions “to ensure all fans feel welcome and safe” at Wave matches and in the community.

“At Wave FC, we condemn this behavior in the strongest possible terms,” Wave president Jill Ellis said. “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 our matches.”

The Wave did not provide specifics on the incident, but one Angel City fan posted about his run-in with a Wave supporter during the match.

Martín Macías Jr. wrote on Twitter that he and his partner “were assaulted by a white SD fan” following the game and told by the same fan to “get the f— out of our country.”

His partner Natasha Dang also tweeted about the incident.

“We filed a report with stadium security,” she wrote. “We were excited to support the inaugural year for both SoCal women’s teams. This tarnished what would [have] been a good time.”

Both Macías and Dang included a photo in their Twitter threads of the woman they said assaulted them. Macías also provided their location in the stadium — Section 328, Row 8.

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

The NWSL issued its own statement, which said the league will “assist and support” San Diego’s investigation. The league also will be reviewing league policies and protocols “to ensure they reflect the positive, safe and inclusive environment” that is expected at league events.

“The hateful and racist conduct that has been reported from this past weekend’s match in San Diego has no place in soccer, sport or society,” the NWSL said in its statement. “Sunday’s match was a celebration for the progress our league has made, but this is a reminder that we must remain vigilant, especially in providing safe places for everyone associated with the NWSL to work, play and be entertained.”

This isn’t the first incident that has occurred at an NWSL match this year.

Back in March, a fan received a lifetime ban after “an alleged act of racial discrimination between two fans” during a North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC match.