LOS ANGELES — Aleksandar Katai has been released by Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy after a series of social media posts by his wife, Tea.
The Galaxy announced their decision to “mutually part ways” with their new Serbian winger Friday in a one-sentence news release.
Tea Katai made the posts on her Instagram story earlier this week, and the Galaxy angrily condemned them as “racist and violent” on Wednesday. The posts included a photo with a caption written in Serbian urging police to “kill” protesters, another referring to protesters as “disgusting cattle,” and a third sharing a racist meme.
The Galaxy met with Aleksandar Katai on Thursday. He disavowed his wife’s posts late Wednesday, saying the “views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family.” Katai signed with the Galaxy as a free agent on Dec. 31.
Galaxy fans immediately reacted with wide online calls for his dismissal. On Thursday, a handful of fans gathered by the David Beckham statue outside the club’s stadium holding a banner reading “No Racists in Our Club” along with a circle and a red line through No. 7, Katai’s uniform number.
The 29-year-old Katai had been participating in voluntary individual workouts this week with his Galaxy teammates at their training complex in Carson.
Although he had played in only two games with his new club before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the MLS season, Katai was expected to be an important part of the Galaxy’s attack this season alongside Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Cristian Pavon.
Katai joined MLS with the Chicago Fire in 2018 after a career in Europe, including time with Serbian powerhouse Red Star Belgrade. He had 18 goals in his first two seasons with the Fire, who acquired him from Alaves in Spain’s La Liga.