Landon Donovan’s USL team San Diego Loyal leaves the field after alleged homophobic insult

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Landon Donovan’s USL Championship side San Diego Loyal lost their game to Phoenix Rising on Wednesday night by refusing to take the field for the second half after a homophobic insult to Loyal midfielder Collin Martin was reportedly made by a Rising player.The incident allegedly happened just before half-time. Martin is one of the few openly gay male athletes in North America.

The forfeit decision comes just days after the team left the field against LA Galaxy II after a racial insult was allegedly directed by one of the Galaxy players at Loyal midfielder Elijah Martin. The player in question, defender Omar Ontiveros, was subsequently released at the end of last month.

“We went through a very difficult incident last week in the Los Angeles game and we made a vow to ourselves, our community, our players, the club, USL, not to put up with bigotry, insults homophobic, things that are not in our game, ”Donovan, the loyal manager, chairman and co-owner, said after the game. “I lost it because I know what this team went through. I know how difficult it was for them to even take the field tonight given everything that happened, and for it to happen again a week later was devastating for me. ”

Donovan says his team intended to continue the game, but if officials or the Rising didn’t remove the player who allegedly gave the insult, they couldn’t.

“If they are not willing to act, then we have to act,” Donovan said. “Our guys, to their great credit, said we weren’t going to put up with it. They were very clear at that point that they were giving up any hope of making the play-offs, even though they beat one of the better teams. in the league. They said it was okay. There are more important things in life and we must stand up for what we believe in. I am extremely proud of this group and this organization. ”

USL said Wednesday evening that an investigation into the incident was underway.

“Coarse and abusive language of any kind has absolutely no place in our society and will not be tolerated in USL matches,” the league said in a statement.



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