Kaku ran up to the ball during a stoppage in play and kicked it directly into the stands from close range, injuring a fan in the process. For that action, he received a red for violent conduct at the end of the match.
After reviewing the incident, the MLS Disciplinary Committee levied an additional two-game suspension (three games total) and fined him an undisclosed amount for reckless misconduct.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee also issued a warning to both Sporting KC and the Red Bulls for being in violation of the league’s mass confrontation policy. This is from the same incident when both teams came together after Kaku injured the fan.
In a poll after the incident, the majority of fans wanted Kaku suspended for longer than two games. The message from fans was clear that Kaku should be punished with 88% wanting at least three games and over half wanting five games or more.
Now the question is what will the Red Bulls do. They bungled the message after the game with giving a clearly PR managed Kaku apology on social media and team captain Luis Robles with the post-game comment, “That’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?”
Will New York fine or suspend him in house? Is that even allowed under the CBA? They could just sit him but the MLS Players Union might step in if the club punished him too harshly after the league only gave two additional games.
Did he have choice?
After MLS handed him the additional two games, Kaku again apologized and “graciously” accepted the suspension. Kaku could have perhaps made an appeal although it is unclear if that would have been allowed. But with the light punishment an appeal, if allowed, would not have made the situation any better.
I apologize again for my actions and accept this suspension from MLS. I will do my best to learn from this and become a better person and player. For now, I will continue to work hard in training and do what I can to make sure my teammates are prepared for these matches.— kaku (@kakuromero17) April 24, 2019