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Tulsa Roughnecks taking a stand against racism

Posted at 9:01 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 23:21:36-04

TULSA -- The Tulsa Roughnecks General Manager sat down with Two Works For You to discuss how they came to the decision to terminate the contract of a player who allegedly used racial slurs toward an Oklahoma City Energy player at Saturday night's game.

"Any racial comments, slurs, racism of any nature doesn’t belong in this club," said Wayne Farmer, General Manager of Tulsa Roughnecks.

It started with a tweet late Saturday night from Oklahoma City Energy player, Atiba Harris. He tweeted that a player on the Roughnecks called him the N-word in an insulting way.

"It’s a hot topic in world soccer right now," said Farmer.

The Tulsa Roughnecks took a stand, and after meeting with leaders of the club and player accused of making the racial slurs, decided to release Fabian Bastidas from the team.

"He is a good person, he just made a mistake in the comment he said and it’s a comment we don’t support being the Tulsa Roughnecks," said Farmer.

The 25-year-old, signed to the Roughnecks back in January, has made a dent on the team, scoring two goals in his nine appearances. However, Farmer says rules are rules.

"Whether the last player on our roster or first player on our roster, just not supportive of anyone who made comments of that nature," said Farmer.

Bastidas posted in his Instagram after being terminated from the Roughnecks saying, "I used terminology that I have used my entire life growing up in Brooklyn, a pronoun that I say to my friends, teammates, and the people I care about."

"The reality is, we all need to quit saying the word, the history behind the word dictates that it is derogatory," said Risha Grant, diversity expert.

Bastidas also said in the post, "In South America, New York, Portugal, and everywhere else I've lived, we say it with love. Nothing malicious or racist was or will ever be intended by it."

But diversity expert, Risha Grant tells us what matters is how the person receiving the comment feels about the word.

"If you don’t have that relationship with them, you have to take the chance of the consequences, choices have consequences and I think we’re seeing a lot with that word right now," said Grant.

Farmer tells us if another organization comes to them asking about Bastidas, they'd be happy to support him and say he just made a mistake.

The Roughnecks also publicly apologized to the Oklahoma City player, and the team. You can view their full statement here.

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