SD Loyal Forfeits, Walks Off Field After Opposing Player Uses Homophobic Slur
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Photo by San Diego Loyal SC
San Diego Loyal SC walked off the field and forfeited its match after a homophobic slur was allegedly directed at one of its players, a week after forfeiting its previous match because a racial slur was used against one of its player, the team announced Thursday.
The second-division soccer club walked off the field at halftime Wednesday night while leading 3-1 after Loyal midfielder Collin Martin, an openly gay player, was allegedly called a homophobic slur by a member of Phoenix Rising FC.
Following its previous match on Sept. 23, Loyal asked to forfeit a 1-1 tie at Los Angeles Galaxy II because a Black defender was called a racial slur in the 71st minute, team officials said.
The offending player, Omar Ontiveros, was not punished during the game, but was suspended by the Division II men's soccer league for six games. On Saturday, LA Galaxy II announced it "mutually agreed to part ways" with Ontiveros.
The incident on Wednesday night occurred in first-half injury time, shortly after Rubio Rubin had given the Loyal a 3-1 lead on a free kick from the top of the box. A ball was played into the Loyal defense, and Martin appeared to collide with a Phoenix player and exchange words.
The referee stopped play and initially gave Martin a straight red card, explaining to players that "I heard something," the San Diego Union- Tribune reported. After consulting with an assistant referee, he said he misunderstood and rescinded the red card. Instead, he gave one to Loyal SC Head Coach Landon Donovan for coming onto the field before the half had ended.
The Loyal players returned to the field at USD's Torero Stadium for the second half and immediately took a knee when the referee blew his whistle to start. Then, they stood and walked off.
The latest forfeit ended the soccer club's chance at finishing in the top two of Group B and qualifying for the 16-team playoff tournament.
"Last week we made it loud and clear that we do not stand for racism or homophobia. Nothing has changed this week," the team said in a tweet.
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