MLS player hits girl in face after rocketing ball into stands, apology attempt rejected

It takes just a split-second of frustration for a day to end in tears, jeers, and a stadium full of furious fans calling you an “a**hole.”

Such is the lesson now being learned by New York Red Bulls midfielder Dru Yearwood, who, in an emotional outburst following a foul, launched a soccer ball into the stands, pummeling at least one — possibly two — kids in the process.

It took another split-second for Yearwood to realize what he’d just done.

The player jumped into the stands and made his way to the third row to apologize to the girl who’d just taken his tantrum to the face but was denied by a disgusted fan who dropped a scarf over the contrite player’s head and, essentially, told him to “talk to the hand.”

Down in the first row, a young boy was sobbing. It is unclear whether or not he, too, was hit by the rocketing ball.

In the 94th minute of stoppage time, Yearwood was handed a second yellow card from the referee and sent off the field, according to the Daily Mail. He will now sit out the Red Bulls next game against the New England Revolution.

In a written statement, Yearwood offered a heartfelt apology and asked his fans for forgiveness.

“I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to the fans who were hit by the ball I kicked at Saturday’s match,” he wrote. “My emotions got the best of me on this day, and I’ve let down the entire organization and every single New York Red Bulls fan.”

“I hope the fans are OK,” he said, “and that they can forgive me.”

The Red Bulls also released a statement, vowing to “discourage” such outbursts in the future.

“The safety of everyone that attends our events at Red Bull Arena is of the utmost importance to our organization,” the Bulls said.

“Dru is incredibly remorseful and knows his actions were inexcusable,” the statement continued. “We will take measures to discourage this from occurring again.”

“We along with Dru will continue to stay in contact with families to check on their well-being,” the team promised.

Online, folks seem more forgiving of Yearwood’s tantrum than the fans who witnessed it first-hand.

“Unintentional,” tweeted former professional basketball player Rex Chapman. “Damn.”

“You’re at a sporting event,” tweeted another user. “If you’re not paying attention and you get hit, that’s your fault.”

“The fan is a crybaby,” claimed a third. “What a loser.”

Others took issue with the scarf-wielding fan’s attitude.

“What was he doing throwing his scarf in that dude’s face?” asked one user. “Weird. Lucky that didn’t escalate things.”

Wrote another: “The interaction with the player and the fan is weird because by confronting the player instead of providing care to the hurt fan, he is saying ‘getting my 15 minutes of fame’ is more important than providing care.”

“All I can say is allow the man to apologize,” stated another user. “It was an accident.”


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