Gesture San Diego teammates moves player who was butt homophobia

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San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin calls it very moving that his teammates decided to leave the field during the league game against Phoenix Rising. The second-level duel in America was marred by an alleged homophobic comment to Martin.

Martin happy with collective decision to leave the field

It went wrong in the game between San Diego Loyal and Phoenix Rising, in the night from Wednesday to Thursday (Dutch time), just before half time. Martin, who openly spoke out for his homosexuality two years ago, got red after indicating to the referee that an opponent had made a homophobic comment to him. The arbitrator thought that Martin was making that comment.

San Diego Loyal only wanted to continue playing if Phoenix Rising took the alleged culprit, Junior Flemmings, off the field. That did not happen and the referee did nothing, because he had not heard the alleged comment to Martin. The players of San Diego Loyal therefore decided to get down on one knee at the start of the second half and then step off the field, despite a 3-1 lead.

Martin, still active as a player for Minnesota United in the photo, is moved by the action of his fellow players. “They supported me and wanted to make a statement. We do not accept this kind of behavior in our sport,” the American told the BBC.

“It’s not the first time I’ve gotten such a horrible comment to my head, but it’s the first time in my eight-year career that it’s said to me in a game.”

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Jamaican Flemmings denies having made a homophobic comment to Martin. The organization of the United Soccer League (USL), the second level in America, has started an investigation.

“The collective decision to walk off the field in solidarity shows a lot of support towards me,” continues 25-year-old Martin. “Ultimately, I hope this can be another example of how we still have a long way to go to educate ourselves.”

Last week it also went wrong in a game against San Diego Loyal. A player from the club was racially treated by Omar Ontiveros, who was subsequently fired by Los Angeles Galaxy, where he played in the second team.

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