Philadelphia Union's Kai Wagner suspended 3 games after admitting to using racist slur

Philadelphia Union's Kai Wagner looks on during the MLS playoff soccer match against FC Cincinnati, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in Chester, Pa. The Union won 1-0. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Philadelphia Union's Kai Wagner admitted to using a racial slur during a match and will be banned the next three games as punishment. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

When Major League Soccer interviewed Kai Wagner about the racist slur he used toward Bobby Wood on Oct. 28, the Philadelphia Union defender admitted to the offense.

On Tuesday afternoon, the league handed down its decision to suspend Wagner for the next three games.

Union currently has a 1-0 lead in its playoff series against the New England Revolution. Wagner is suspended for Game 2 on Nov. 8, and if necessary, Game 3 on Nov. 12.

Should Philadelphia win its next game and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, then Wagner would miss games in that series. And if the Union should lose the next two games and their season ends, then Wagner will serve the remainder of his suspension next season.

In addition to that, Wagner must continue to participate in education and training sessions mandated by MLS.

"In reaching this decision," the league said in a statement, "MLS considered many factors, including Wagner's immediate acceptance of responsibility for the violation, willingness to participate in a restorative practices process to repair the harm caused, and his cooperation with the league's investigation."

During the Union and Revolution's game a week ago, Wagner allegedly said a German word that is racist toward Asians.

Wood is of African American and Japanese heritage, but understood what Wagner said because he speaks German from his time playing in the country. The incident occurred in the 86th minute of Game 1 after New England forward Giacomo Vrioni fouled Philadelphia defender Nathan Harriel.

Wood and Wagner were seen on video in a heated argument as players from both sides began pushing and shoving one another.

Wagner, who has spent five seasons with Philadelphia and was a two-time All-Star during that stretch, is in the final year of his contract with the club.