Former MLS player Michael Lahoud recounted a recent personal experience with systemic racism that took place while he was taking a walk with his girlfriend on his personal Twitter account on Thursday.
Lahoud said he and his girlfriend Lara, who is white, were walking back home from a workout when an unmarked police car pulled up next to them, asking Lara if she needed help or assistance. There was no indication that she was in distress or that she wasn’t walking with him willingly.
“By the time we got home, Lara was incredulous, and I was so disheartened,” Lahoud wrote. “I am angry and disgusted that two police officers assumed that my girlfriend, whose safety is of the utmost importance to me, was in danger because of the color of my skin.
“Our experience this week is just one example and highlights the daily realities of being Black in America, and this is NOT okay.”
Lahoud played for Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union during his time in MLS, and most recently played for San Antonio FC of the USL Championship in 2019. Read his full post on the incident below.
Two days ago, my girlfriend and I were on our walk back home from a workout at 8 AM. We were strolling around the neighborhood, as we often do. I was walking just ahead of her, keeping an eye out for oncoming traffic, when I noticed a car driving slowly down the street. Lara was on her phone, pondering the meaning of an otherwise funny event that had happened to her on our initial trek to the gym (a bird had pooped on her shoulder). With our safety in mind, I gave her a heads up that a car was coming, and we crossed to the other side of the street to let the car safely pass through. I noticed that the car was driving unusually slow. I held my breath, and thought to myself, “Please don’t be a cop…” (it was). I thought to myself, “Please don’t do what I think you’re going to do… (they did). I realized that the car in question was an unmarked cop car. In the blink of an eye, it pulled up close to us. Two police officers rolled down their window and asked Lara, NOT me, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?” Immediately I froze. I felt like I could not speak up out of fear and discomfort of how quickly situations like these have gone horribly wrong. Lara said to them, “We’re good. We live just up the street.” She, like me, gave them a look of nervousness, and I was beside myself as to why they would ask her such questions. One of the officers caught himself, and said to her, once again NOT me, “Oh…okay! We just saw you on your phone and thought you may have needed directions or something”. As the conversation wound down, we couldn’t even find words, and before we could comprehend what happened, they were gone. By the time we got home, Lara was incredulous, and I was so disheartened. I am angry and disgusted that two police officers assumed that my girlfriend, whose safety is of the utmost importance to me, was in danger because of the color of my skin. Our experience this week is just one example and highlights the daily realities of being Black in America, and this is NOT okay. It makes me sick that the Black community in this country continues to experience such discrimination. I hope that this is a turning point for our country. Go out and vote! #blacklivesmatter