Legendary striker Marco van Basten has been suspended from his role as a TV pundit by Fox News after using a nazi-associated term on television.
Marco van Basten said “Sieg Hail”
The Dutchman used the term “Sieg Hail”, which from German translates to “Hail victory” on the Dutch edition of Fox Sports, following an interview with a German coach, conducted for the De Eretribune show on Sunday.
The 55-year old apologized for the incident shortly after, but Fox was not happy with the situation. On Monday they released an official statement, saying that the comment was “stupid and inappropriate”. Van Basten was suspended until December 7 and his wages for the next week – donated to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s comment came in the same weekend in which players from the top Dutch leagues took a united stance against racism. Soccer players stood still for the first minute of games to protest against racism. All screens and boards in stadiums of the top division clubs displayed the message “Racism? Then we won’t play”.
Van Basten enjoyed a prolific playing career. He defended the colors of Ajax Amsterdam and AC Milan, winning multiple titles including the European Champions Club’s Cup (Champions League predecessor). After his retirement, he has taken roles as an assistant manager in Ajax, Heerenveen, and AZ Alkmaar, as well as the Netherlands national football team. His last role was as a technical director in FIFA.