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USA players on receiving racial abuse online: 'It's normal at this point'

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Tyler Adams let out a sigh and put the palms of his hands together as he thought for a moment about how he wanted to address the topic.

Racism has overshadowed the U.S. men's national team's preparations for a decisive group stage match against Uruguay on Monday (9 p.m. on FOX and the FOX Sports app), which could end up being the squad's final game of Copa América. And detracting from their focus is the cruel fact that American players received hateful messages on what Adams called "toxic" social media following a loss to Panama on Thursday.

"For me personally, I don't really know where to even begin on this topic," Adams, one of the most respected leaders in this team, said during a news conference on Saturday. "It's normal at this point — it's normal. I don't think anyone could play a bad game, let alone a good game, and not have something on social media afterwards.

"So for me, personally, I don't even use social media — not for that specific reason, but just for the fact that it's just toxic everywhere, no matter where you look."

The USMNT was stunningly defeated by Panama, 2-1, in the group stage match. The game was chippy from the start, but took a turn when Tim Weah was given a red card in the 18th minute and ejected from the match, forcing the Americans to play with 10 men.

Afterward, Weah and his teammates, including fellow Black players Chris Richards and Folarin Balogun, were targets of racist messages on their respective social media accounts. Balogun, who scored the lone goal for the U.S. against Panama, re-posted them on his Instagram to show the kind of abuse endured.

U.S. Soccer issued a statement and said it was "deeply disturbed" by the comments directed at its players.

"There is