From the moment Jorge Vergara began aggressively “re-Mexican’izing” Chivas USA both on and off the field, a discrimination lawsuit against Chivas USA for its hiring and personnel practices appeared inevitable. While it may be legal in Mexico to explicitly staff a team and front office solely from a single ethnic group, that is not the case in the United States. In addition, it would only take a cursory reading of the English-language material that exists about Jorge Vergara to know that any sports organization run by him would be so ham-handed and obvious in chasing the Caucasians off of the playing and coaching staff that a discrimination suit was really just a matter of time. It turns out that today is that time.
The suit announced today by the firm representing former CUSA coaches Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos alleges nothing that wasn’t already suspected or outright known within the American soccer community. CUSA explicitly and intentionally sought to rid its staff of non-Mexican and non-Latino members. The on-field effects have been obvious during the past season as non-Mexican players were released or shipped out, often for very little in return.
What surprises me about this suit is not that it was filed, but that it was filed by coaches rather than players. I had figured that some players released by CUSA and unable to find new MLS spots would, with support of the players union, file suit against CUSA and MLS because, under MLS’ single entity structure, the league is as much the employer in question as the club. That fact makes any suit by players against MLS or its clubs much more complicated. But coaches are hired by clubs as conventional salaried employees just like myself and like most of you reading this. The importance of it being coaches filing this case is that it makes the case a much more simple one to understand and, in the end, a more simple one for a judge to decide – if it ever comes to that, which I doubt it ever will.
On to the allegations. Continue Reading…