soccer

Loyal SC Walks Off Pitch After Opposing Player Uses Homophobic Slur

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The San Diego Loyal SC has once again taken a stand against hate.

The club walked off the pitch Wednesday night after a player on the Phoenix Rising directed a homophobic slur at Loyal player Collin Martin, Loyal SC tweeted.

"Last week we made it loud and clear that we do not stand for racism or homophobia. Nothing has changed this week," Loyal SC tweeted, followed by a pride flag and Black fist emoji.

"Enough is enough," another tweet from the club said.

Loyal SC said the slur was used just before halftime.

"Players and both team coaches reportedly heard the slur but the match referees did nothing about it," the club said.

Loyal SC returned to the pitch for the second half, took a knee, then walked off.

Loyal SC was fighting for a spot in the playoffs and was up 3-1 at half. A win could've put them in position for a postseason berth. Instead, the club's inaugural season ended with back-to-back forfeits in response to on-field bigotry from the opposing team.

Last Wednesday, a racist slur was hurled at a Loyal player in the 71st minute of a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy II. Loyal SC said multiple referees, Galaxy II coaching staff and players admitted to hearing the slur but refused to take disciplinary action.

The team announced it was forfeiting that match last Friday. LA Galaxy II cut ties with the player who used the slur the next day, and he was also suspended and fined by the league

The league looked into the allegations and said in a statement: "None of the facts in the subsequent investigation of the incident by the USL Championship were disputed by any of the involved parties."

“We don’t even want to recognize being a part of a match where these types of actions take place,” said SD Loyal’s Chairman Andrew Vassiliadis in a statement last week. “The Loyal in our name is symbolic of the diversity in our community and as a club we will not stand for this.”

Giving up the draw meant the Loyal would lose a point in the standings and give two more to the Galaxy II, the team right behind them in the playoff race.

Loyal head coach Landon Donovan's said giving up the point would likely keep them out of the playoffs, but said he's not worried about that if it means doing the right thing.

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