De Boer could receive a muted reception in the Campeones Cup, a nationally televised game in which at least 40,000 people are expected to attend.
Atlanta United President Darren Eales went on 92.9 FM on Tuesday to quickly and specifically claim that de Boer’s comments were his own and didn’t reflect the club or its beliefs.
“To be crystal clear, our club is now and always will be in supporting equality of strong values and lifting each other up,” Eales said. “We want to grow the game of soccer for all to enjoy, and that’s what we stand for. As you guys know, that’s the value that (owner) Arthur (Blank) is known for, and it’s really the core of his personal and business philosophy.”
De Boer wasn’t asked about his comments on Tuesday in the press conference previewing Wednesday’s game.
The story in The Guardian isn’t the first time that de Boer’s comments have drawn criticism. After his team failed to defeat expansion club Cincinnati on March 10, he described Atlanta United’s fans as spoiled, referring to the success and attacking the style of play under previous manager Gerardo Martino. Atlanta United was 1-3-1 after the draw.
De Boer apologized two days later. He said spoiled in his native language of Dutch doesn't have the same connotation as it does in English. De Boer also speaks Spanish.
De Boer does sometime struggle with finding the correct words in English. It is a common occurrence in his press conferences, whether it’s a specific word or phrase.
Eales said on Tuesday that “ridiculous” may have been misinterpreted by de Boer, but that it was a “poor, misguided” use of the word.