Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney was on the end of his former teammate Phil Neville’s praises due to his handling of a racist incident when the two managers clashed on the weekend.
The highly contested affair that saw Neville’s Inter Miami thrash Rooney’s DC United 3-2 was a must-win for the former United defender, who was tipped to be shown the exit door if he lost the game.
He won and may have just bought himself a new lease of life at the Inter Miami dugout.
The thrilling match led by the two Red Devils legends was clouded by a racist incident in the 59th minute between DC’s Taxiarchis Fountas and Inter’s Damion Lowe.
The two were in a heated confrontation with a Miami player, DeAndre Yedlin accusing DC’s Fountas of calling Lowe “the N-word.”
The situation led to several minutes of delay as the referee deliberated with both captains and managers of either side regarding how to handle the issue. This is after Miami players and staff refused to go on with proceedings unless action was taken against the disgusting Fountas.
To Rooney’s credit, he took off the player, effectively ending his participation in the game.
Neville said, “There was a racist comment that was unacceptable. A word was used that I think is unacceptable in society. I think it’s the worst word in the world. There is no place at all for racism on a football field or society.”
Praising Rooney’s decisive action, “I must give massive, massive respect to Wayne Rooney for dealing with it in the way that he did.”
I have always known him as a class act, and today, he went up in my estimation more than he has ever done, more than any goal he has ever scored.”
Rooney himself confirmed the occurrence of the incident. He, however, refrained from dishing out additional comments on the matter pending an investigation that will be conducted.
DC United released a statement in which they promised their supporters they would cooperate and work with the MLS to get to the bottom of the matter.