Last night, American soccer side San Diego Loyal left the pitch at the beginning of the second half against Phoenix Rising after an out player suffered alleged homophobic abuse from an opponent.
Proving they are loyal by name and by nature, the San Diego Loyal soccer team were up 3-1 against Phoenix Rising when midfielder Collin Martin is said to have suffered homophobic abuse.
Collin Martin came out as gay in 2018. This made him the only ‘out’ male player in any top-tier professional football league at the time.
Tweeting after they walked off at the beginning of the second half, the team said:
“In the first half, a member of Phoenix Rising used a homophobic slur directed at Collin Martin. In response, we have decided to walk off the pitch in protest.”
They all took the knee and then proceeded to walk off down the tunnel and in doing so, ended the match.
Loyal boss Landon Donovan said:
“At the end of the first half, Collin came over after he had somehow been red-carded. He told the fourth official he had been abused with a homophobic slur by one of their players.”
Jogo da 2.ª divisão ??: San Diego Loyal vs. Phoenix Rising, partida importantíssima para ambas.
Ao intervalo, 3-1 para San Diego. Contudo, a equipa em vantagem abandona o jogo em protesto: um dos seus jogadores, gay assumido, ouviu insultos homofóbicos.pic.twitter.com/mqGZsTkTrt
— Prof. Bananas (@gandama2uco) October 1, 2020
Following the match, San Diego Loyal released a statement re-affirming their decision:
“We are aware of the alleged use of a homophobic slur in tonight’s match between San Diego Loyal SC and Phoenix Rising FC. Foul and abusive language of any type has absolutely no place in our society and will not be tolerated in USL matches. An investigation is currently underway to determine the facts surrounding the incident and more information will be provided as soon as it is available.”
The opposition, Phoenix Rising, also released a statement stating they are now investigating the alleged incident:
“Phoenix Rising is investigating the claim of a homophobic slur being used by one of its players who has vehemently denied these allegations. Phoenix Rising stands with the USL in rejecting and punishing any homophobic behaviour.”
In a video interview, manager of the San Diego Loyals, Landon Donovan, said that the team made the right decision.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) October 1, 2020
“We’ve been through a lot recently.
“We owe it to ourselves, our community, our players, to the club, to USL – that we would not stand for bigotry, homophobic slurs – things that don’t belong in our game.”
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