LOS ANGELES (AP) – A former executive is suing the Chivas USA soccer team, claiming she was the target of discrimination because she wasn't Latino and couldn't speak Spanish.
The Torrance Daily Breeze reports the suit was filed in Los Angeles by former human resources manager Cynthia Craig, who is black. The suit says Craig left the Southern California team in July after repeated harassment by owner Jorge Vergara and team President Jose David.
Messages seeking comment from Chivas representatives weren't immediately returned Thursday.
It's not the first discrimination lawsuit against Chivas. Two former youth coaches sued the Carson-based team in May, alleging they were fired because they aren't Mexican or Latino.
The suit was filed by Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit also claims harassment and retaliation based on ethnicity and race and seeks unspecified damages. The two men worked for more than a year for the team's academy, which provides soccer programs for youths.
''If you don't speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy, unless you speak Chinese, which is not even a language,''' Vergara allegedly told employees, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Chivas USA is trying to mirror the ''Mexican-only'' policy of its Guadalajara counterpart.
The policy, however, wasn't just limited to the pitch, according to the suit. Chronopoulos said Jose David, the team's president and chief business officer, directed him in December to gather ethnic and other data about the children enrolled in the academy and their parents.
Calichman said that during a meeting with David and a human resources manager, David said the team was going back to its Mexican roots and indicated neither youth coach would be part of that effort, the suit said.
Calichman and Chronopoulos, who both played in the MLS, complained about alleged discrimination and harassment earlier this year and were told there would be an internal investigation. Despite repeated requests, neither man has received the investigation's results, Helmer said.