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San Diego walks out in protest at USL match

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: October 1, 2020

The San Diego Loyal, managed by former U.S. men's national team player Landon Donovan, walked off the pitch in Wednesday's match against the Phoenix Rising after a homophobic slur was allegedly uttered by an opposing player.

The slur was directed at Loyal midfielder Collin Martin, an openly gay soccer player. The Loyal were playing their final game of their inaugural season, with a playoff spot on the line, electing to forfeit the match against the Rising.

The USL released a statement shortly after the first-half incident.

“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.”

After the match, Rising forward Junior Flemmings released a statement, indicating that he was the player accused of using the homophobic slur.

The week prior, San Diego elected to forfeit a match when LA Galaxy II defender Omar Ontiveros directed a racial slur at the Loyal's Elijah Martin. Ontiveros was suspended for six games by the USL and then released by the Galaxy.

Landon Donovan explained the series of events below.

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