Tayvon Gray has been reinstated by MLS following the league’s investigation of the New York City FC defender for allegedly using language that violated league policy during NYCFC’s home loss to FC Cincinnati.
Gray ended up serving a one-match ban for the still-mysterious incident with FC Cincinnati, as he was deemed ineligible to play for NYCFC during the course of the league’s investigation.
That investigation has now concluded, with no additional punishment handed down to Gray outside of his agreeing “to participate in a restorative practice process,” whatever that means. The full MLS statement can be read below:
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It’s notable that the MLS statement mentions “the other players involved in the incident” also being invited to participate in whatever this vague-sounding “restorative practice process” actually is.
Earlier this week, FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan told the media that Cincy defender Junior Moreno was the target of Gray’s language, with Noonan saying of Gray’s comments, “it’s something that shouldn’t be part of our game.” Might this have been an instance of player-to-player trash talk that got out of hand and led to a formal complaint from Cincinnati’s side?
The statement from MLS sheds zero light on what was actually said between players, or why MLS decided to ultimately hand down no further punishment over the incident.
The circumstances around Gray’s suspension remain extremely murky, yet this is still a second straight piece of good disciplinary news for NYCFC ahead of their trip to face Real Salt Lake. Gray’s reinstatement comes a day after defender Braian Cufré’s red card vs. New England was rescinded after a successful NYCFC appeal.
While NYCFC remain without the suspended (for yellow card accumulation) Maxime Chanot and injured Thiago Martins, their back line now gets two previously-unavailable fullbacks back in the mix for the match in Utah.