Sporting Kansas City’s forward Jacob Peterson is frustrated with the suspension for an offense he says he did not commit. Peterson was shown a red card in the 89th minute of the match with Montreal; he had subbed out shortly before that. Referee Jorge Gonzalez halted play and showed Peterson a straight red on the bench.
“The ref said he heard something I didn’t say,” Peterson explained after practice on Wednesday. “I talked to him after the game and he said he clearly heard that but he did not. I did not say what he thought I said and he sent me off for it. I think it’s absurd that I can get suspended a game for something I didn’t say. I didn’t deserve that at all. There were ten other guys on the bench that heard exactly what I said and it wasn’t what I got sent off for. “
Peterson freely admits that he did yell something but it was not directed at the referee, it was about the disparity in the calls. “It was referring to two different calls. One I thought Kei got fouled (with no call) and then they immediately called the same thing on Chance. It was building off of Pete (SKC manager Peter Vermes) having a conversation with them right before that. I added on and somehow I get sent off for saying something that really is not offensive. There are a thousand things said on the field that are worse. I was shocked when he gave me a card.”
“He thought I said something offensive but it wasn’t at all what I said and even then what he thought I said, it’s not that bad,” Peterson elaborated. “It was similar, it was the same word but in a completely different context.”
“The worst part for me is that I am getting punished, fined and suspended for something I didn’t say, it was not a derogatory thing towards the referee,” Peterson continued. “It’s strange because the same ref gave Quincy Amarikwa from Toronto a red card for saying something to him and then he rescinded the card but apparently he didn’t want to do that to me.”
Chance of the card being overturned
“The league said they are investigating it but for a club to appeal it there is a lot on the line for them if it doesn’t come to fruition,” Peterson commented. “It’s nice that they instituted it for this year; it’s at least a step. In the past there was absolutely no avenue to go down. I wish there was system in place where we could avoid something like this, It’s just a misunderstanding really.“
The league did put a Red Card Appeal process in place this year but Sporting KC did not use it. Teams had to put up a $25,000 bond to have the right to appeal up to two red cards. If an appeal is not upheld the team loses one of its appeal slots. The real danger is if the team is found to be making frivolous appeals, then the bond is forfeited, no further appeals are allowed and the suspension is doubled so teams are cautious about making appeals.
While Sporting KC did not appeal the red card, the team did ask the league to investigate to see if there is any evidence to overturn the card but so far no video, audio or otherwise unbiased source has shown up.
Timing makes it even more frustrating
“It’s just frustrating. We are in the thick of the playoff push right here and I want to be a part of it. I just battled back from two months out for a separated shoulder and now I’ve got to sit out a game. It’s definitely not ideal,” Peterson said shaking his head.
Peterson will miss the game with the Chicago Fire Friday evening in a match that has huge implications for the top of the standings of the Eastern Conference. Sporting KC is 2 points up on Chicago but the Fire have played one less match and have been playing really well lately.
“I’m still crossing my fingers, hoping that this investigation brings something but the likelihood of that is not high,” Peterson lamented.