U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Tim Howard caused a stir following Saturday's Gold Cup final loss to Mexico when he lashed out at CONCACAF for the format of the post-game ceremonies at the Rose Bowl, which were held mostly in Spanish.
Howard's comments were a reaction to what Howard felt was a slight by CONCACAF of the host nation, and he was clearly upset during his post-match remarks.
“CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves,” Howard said after Saturday's Gold Cup Final. “I think it’s a (freaking) disgrace that the entire post-match ceremony was in Spanish. You can bet your ass if we were in Mexico City it wouldn’t be all in English.”
On Tuesday, Howard released a statement clarifying his position:
“I made some comments after the Gold Cup Final that have caused some controversy. I would like to clarify a few points about my comments," Howard said. " First, I would like to apologize for my language. I am the father of young children, and I certainly do not believe profanity is appropriate in public comments. I was caught up in the heat of the moment."
"I also want to stress that I have no problem whatsoever with the use of the Spanish language at international competitions held in the US," Howard said. "I have nothing but great respect for other cultures, and in this case for the Mexican national team and its supporters. On that night, they played a great game and deserved their win. I play in international matches all the time, and multiple languages are used at almost all of them.
"The point I made, which I stand by, is that it is inappropriate and disrespectful for the post-match ceremonies to take place primarily in the language of only one of the participating teams," Howard said. "In any important international match with post-game ceremonies, you would hope the tournament organizers would make sure that the primary language of each participating team is used so that the participants can understand what is being said. To fail to do this is, in my opinion, disrespectful to the players. When this occurs on your home soil, it is particularly insulting.
"We, as American players, were asked to participate in a post-game ceremony at a match in Los Angeles and we are standing there trying to show good sportsmanship and yet the ceremony is going on and we are just looking at one another struggling to understand a word," Howard said. "It was, to be honest, humiliating, and I firmly believe the tournament organizers should not have put us in that position.”
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