Junior Flemmings of American football club Phoenix Rising has been banned for six games for making a homophobic remark in the game against San Diego Loyal at the second level in the US. Victim Collin Martin’s team decided to leave the field last week because of the incident.
Martin, the only openly gay footballer in American professional football, informed the referee in the first half that Flemmings had made a homophobic comment in his direction. However, the arbitrator thought that Martin himself had made a mistake and gave him a red card.
The referee refused to reconsider his decision and Phoenix Rising also decided not to remove Flemmings from the field, after which all players of San Diego Loyal left the field despite a 3-1 lead at the start of the second half. Just before that they made a statement by kneeling.
The United Soccer League (USL), the organization responsible for the second tier in the US, immediately announced an investigation. Although Flemmings denies being guilty, he still has to let the upcoming duels pass him by.
Junior Flemmings will be banned for six games and fined for bad language and making a homophobic comment. He could also face disciplinary punishment from Phoenix Rising, “the USL said in a statement.
25-year-old Martin said last week at the BBC to be moved by the solidarity of his teammates. “It is not the first time that I have had such a terrible comment in my head, but it is the first time that it has been said to me during a game.”
For the users of the app, tap the tweet to watch the San Diego Loyal players walk off the pitch.