‘That’s a really powerful symbol’: Kick It Out chair lauds Landon Donovan for getting his San Diego Loyal side to walk off the pitch after Junior Flemmings shouted homophobic slur at his openly-gay player Collin Martin
- Kick It Out chair has praised Landon Donovan for getting his team to walk off
- San Diego Loyal walked off the pitch after Collin Martin was abused
- Junior Flemmings was accused of directing a homophobic slur at Martin
- Loyal’s Martin is the only openly-gay player in US professional men’s football
Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari has praised Landon Donovan for getting his San Diego Loyal team to walk off the pitch during a game against Phoenix Rising last month.
Junior Flemmings of Phoenix Rising received a six-match ban for directing a homophobic slur at San Diego Loyal’s Collin Martin. Martin is the only openly-gay player in US professional men’s football.
Donovan’s actions in instructing his team to walk off the pitch was ‘amazingly powerful’, Bhandari says.
Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari praised Landon Donovan for getting his team to walk off the pitch
Donovan and San Diego Loyal walked off the pitch after the alleged homophobic slur
As reported by BT Sport, Bhandari said: ‘It was an amazingly powerful thing that Landon Donovan did.
‘There are protocols for when there is abuse from crowds, but if there is abuse amongst the players and the players feel they want to walk off, they should. That’s a really powerful symbol.
‘Landon Donovan has taken the genie out of the bottle now, once somebody has done that it won’t be long before someone else does the same if they’re in a similar circumstance.’
Junior Flemmings has been banned for six games after directing a homophobic slur last week
It was directed at openly gay Loyal midfielder Collin Martin (pictured middle, far right)
Donovan told his opposite manager Rick Schantz: ‘we have to get this out of our game’
Flemmings, a Jamaica international, was also fined by the USL for the incident and is reported to have referred to Martin as a ‘batty boy’ – a Jamaican slur used to belittle gay or effeminate men.
The incident prompted a heated exchange on the touchline between Donovan, the referee and opposing manager Rick Schantz.
Martin publicly announced he was gay in June 2018 while he was at Minnesota United
Although Martin had initially been sent off for his reaction to the incident, this was subsequently rescinded by the referee.
After the game Donovan said that his team wanted to carry on playing but would walk off if Flemmings wasn’t dismissed by the referee.
As a consequence San Diego Loyal forfeited the game, with their hopes of making the USL play-offs ending.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article