FC Cincinnati coach Ron Jans has resigned in the midst of an MLS investigation into allegations he used the n-word.
“As Major League Soccer’s investigation unfolded and some themes emerged, Ron offered his resignation and we agreed that it was the best course of action for everyone involved with FC Cincinnati,” club president Jeff Berding said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted. Racial and cultural diversity is a major part of what makes the game of soccer so special, and we place the highest priority on respecting every person involved in our game. This includes absolutely everyone associated with our club, from our locker room and front office, all the way through to our fans.”
Jans is alleged to have used the slur while singing along to a track being played in the Cincinnati locker room. A player is understood to have told Jans, who is Dutch, about the significance of the n-word in America. Jans is also understood to have made an inappropriate remark about slavery during a team visit to memorials in Washington DC in October.
Jans took over at Cincinnati in August towards the end of the club’s inaugural season in MLS. He expressed regret for the way his tenure had ended in a statement on Tuesday.
“I really want to thank everyone at FC Cincinnati,” said the 61-year-old. “I had a really great time in Cincinnati and with the club, with the staff, players, owners and fans. Especially the fans. I’m really sorry our story ends like this. But even if I were to return, there would be too much damage done to be able to move forward successfully. I want to wish the club good luck in the continued building of FC Cincinnati to the next stage.”
The club play their first game of the new season on 1 March against the New York Red Bulls.