Chivas USA players, in red-and-white-striped jerseys, battle the L.A. Galaxy in March 2013. Two former coaches with the Chivas USA youth academy have filed a lawsuit, claimng the organization discriminated against them for not being Latino. The soccer organization has issued a statement saying it respects diversity.
Former Chivas USA youth academy coaches Dan Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos claim they were discriminated against when the organization fired them in March.
In a lawsuit filed by the two men, they allege that in a meeting with employees in November 2012, Chivas owner Jorge Vergara asked employees who spoke Spanish to raise their hands, stating that those who didn't could "go work for the Galaxy."
“Discrimination is discrimination, and for any employer, there are California laws, there are national laws, that they need to adhere to," Calichman said. "Just because they are of Mexican origin and Chivas of Guadalajara has their own policy on how they run their team, they can’t do those same things in the United States.”
Calichman, for the record, is the husband of a KPCC employee.
After initially declining comment, the organization posted a statement on its website that it "stands against any sort of discrimination in terms of gender, health, religion, opinion or physical disabilities."
Chivas USA is under the same ownership as Mexico's legendary Chivas de Guadalajara, which has never had a non-Mexican on its roster. Chivas USA originally sought to emulate that practice, but has since integrated its roster.