Video footage has shown the moment the San Diego Loyal football manager traded barbs with rivals Phoenix Rising after a player allegedly called their gay midfielder a “b***y boy”.
Manager Landon Donovan forfeited for the second consecutive time after Collin Martin told officials that opponent Junior Flemmings lobbed a homophobic insult his way.
Referee Joseph Salinas signalled no foul, allowing the game to continue. But he then abruptly stopped play and issued Martin a red card for allegedly using an offensive term himself against Flemmings.
Confusion quickly rose, with players rebuking one another’s accusations. Microphones dotted around the Torero Stadium picked up Donovan muttering: “We’re off the field if he said that, f**k that.”
The San Diego Loyal walked off the field in protest Wednesday night, saying a Phoenix Rising player used an anti-gay slur directed at openly-gay midfielder Collin Martin.
Manager Landon Donovan discussed the incident with the referee and Phoenix head coach Rick Schantz. pic.twitter.com/WlOYauQhgV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 1, 2020
Footage shows moment that San Diego Loyal manager braves a red card so he can stand up to alleged homophobia.
An animated scuffle between Salinas, Donovan, San Diego defender Derek Morad and Rising coach Rick Schantz then broke out on the pitch, footage showed.
Salinas said to Donovan: “I misunderstood because he’s [Martin] accusing the other guy [Flemmings] of calling him gay.”
“[Your] player called my gay teammate a [b***y boy],” said Morad to Schantz. “Don’t act dumb. You know what that means.”
Donovan, exasperated, expressed his disgust at the use of the slur and explained that this is the second instance of discrimination directed at his team after a racist slur was used against them the week before.
“He called him gay,” Donovan said. “He called Collin gay. I can’t go through this s**t again.”
The footage ended with Schantz asking the referee if Donovan will be issued a red card for entering the field of play. “How is he still in the stadium?” he questioned.
Off-camera, the teams departed to the locker rooms. Returning, the referee gave Donovan a red card, prompting the team to kneel in protest and stage a walk-off.
“When I heard [that Collins had been abused] I lost it,” Donovan said in a video statement. “It was a difficult 20 minutes because our players, in the heart of the moment, still wanted to play.
— San Diego Loyal (@SanDiegoLoyal) October 1, 2020
“But if we want to be true to who we are as a club, we have to speak, we have to act,” he said, adding that he approached Schantz to ask if he would remove Flemmings, who refused to do so.
“And then our guys, to their immense credit, said we can’t stand for this. Very clear at that moment that they were giving all hopes of making the play-offs.
“It doesn’t matter, there’s more important things in life.”