Phil Neville praises Wayne Rooney for reaction to alleged racist slur during MLS game
Phil Neville heaped praise on his fellow former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney after an accusation of racism overshadowed an MLS game between their two sides.
Neville’s Inter Miami sealed a 3-2 win over Rooney’s DC United but the big talking point was the incident involving players from both sides. It is alleged that DC player Taxi Fountas directed a racial slur towards Inter defender Damion Lowe. Fountas was substituted by Rooney almost immediately.
That decision led to Neville praising Rooney’s quick-thinking. “I must commend the referee for a really, really difficult situation. He followed the protocols set out by the MLS,” Neville said.
“And I must give massive, massive respect to Wayne Rooney for dealing with it in the way that he did. I’ve always known him as a class act and today he went up more in my estimations more than he’s ever done, more than any goal he’s ever scored.
“The players were hurt, disappointed and I called them over because in my previous job we’ve had experience of racism in certain countries. I’m quite briefed on how to handle these situations. I told the players we’ll deal with this, that it was unacceptable and that there’s no place for racism in society or on a football field. I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of my players as I was tonight.”
Rooney remained tight-lipped, simply saying: “There was a complaint, which I’m sure will get investigated. (There’s) Not much more I can say