Major League Soccer announced Monday that D.C. United was fined $25,000 because its recent head coach hiring process did not fully meet its obligations under MLS’ Diversity Hiring Policy.
The policy. which was updated in 2021 to increase the policy’s efficacy, which included a specific focus on the hiring of Black candidates and strengthening the policy’s enforcement mechanisms.
According to the league, the policy requires that “the finalist pool includes two (2) or more candidates from underrepresented groups, whereby at least one (1) candidate must be either Black or African American.”
While MLS’ review found that D.C. met with two qualifying candidates from underrepresented groups, the league also found that one of those conversations could not be considered a fnalist pool interview.
“While United relied on representations made by one of the candidate’s agents that the candidate understood that they were interviewing as a finalist for the open coaching position, the club learned during the interview that the candidate was not available to pursue the open position,” a league statement said.
“Once the club came to understand that the candidate was not available for the position, the discussion could no longer reasonably be considered a ‘finalist pool’ interview.
D.C. remained obligated to bring an additional candidate from an underrepresented group into the finalist pool or request a waiver from MLS detailing the extenuating circumstances that would not allow the club to have done so.