'Abhorrent': Homophobic 'disgrace' rocks American match

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Pictured left of screen, Landon Donovan looks outraged during his discussions with officials.
San Diego owner Landon Donovan can be seen on the left expressing his dismay to the officials. Pic: ESPN

A soccer match in America's second tier was abandoned after a player from one of the teams copped an alleged homophobic slur.

The match between the San Diego Loyal and Phoenix Rising ended prematurely after an alleged anti-gay slur from a Phoenix player sparked San Diego's team to walk off the pitch.

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San Diego tweeted after the incident that a slur was directed at midfielder Collin Martin, who announced in 2018 that he is gay.

The San Diego players took a knee at the beginning of the second half, before the extraordinary scenes saw them storm off the pitch.

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Reuter, Phoenix midfielder Junior Flemmings called Martin a “batty boy,” a Jamaican slur used to belittle gay or effeminate men.

San Diego owner Landon Donovan part of walk-out

USMNT legend Landon Donovan, who owns San Diego, could be seen in a heated confrontation with Phoenix head coach Rick Schlantz over how to proceed before joining his players in the walk-off.

The conversation is hard to make out, but Donovan seems to say “We have to get this out of our game ... it’s homophobia.”

Schlantz appears to respond by asking Donovan, who is second all-time in appearances for the USMNT, how long he’s been in soccer.

USL, Phoenix investigating alleged slur

The USL released a statement confirming it is aware of the alleged slur and is investigating the matter.

“We are aware of the alleged use of a homophobic slur in tonight’s match between San Diego Loyal SC and Phoenix Rising FC," the USL said.

"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.”

Pictured here, openly gay San Diego player Collin Martin.
San Diego player Collin Martin came out as gay in 2018. Pic: AP

One of Phoenix’s co-owners, former MLB pitcher Brandon McCarthy, tweeted that Flemmings denied ever using the slur.

A statement from Phoenix soon followed, saying it is investigating the claim of a slur.

Viewers were left outraged by the incident, insisting that homophobia has no place in the game and defending San Diego's decision to walk off the pitch.

with Yahoo Sports US

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