Their legitimate non-discriminatory reason is that they want to more easily transfer employees between Chivas USA and the Chivas Guadalajara team that they also own. The Mexican Chivas Guadalajara team only employs Mexicans. It also seems they may allege that they want employees that are fluent in Spanish, which plaintiffs Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos are not. However, counsel for plaintiffs contends that many of the players speak English, so language should not be an issue.
It is well settled that discrimination on the basis of race is unlawful. It is also well known that plaintiff successes in discrimination cases are much less common than defense verdicts. While it is too early to tell whether discrimination actually occurred here, I suspect that once the Mexican owners are brought up to speed on Title VII mandates, there will be settlement discussions on the horizon.
Professor Kendall D. Isaac
Appalachian School of Law