An alleged anti-gay slur from Phoenix Rising player Junior Flemmings against Collin Martin of the San Diego Loyal, who is openly gay, prompted Martin’s team to walk off the pitch on Wednesday in the USL Championship, the second tier of U.S. pro soccer.
A day later, Phoenix announced that Flemmings was being placed on administrative leave while the team and USL investigate the matter.
Phoenix coach Rick Schantz has also reportedly been placed on leave, though the team claimed it was for an unrelated matter.
In the incident, Flemmings allegedly called Martin a “batty boy,” an anti-gay Jamaican slur. Martin publicly came out in 2018.
Martin informed the referee, who got confused and issued Martin a red card after thinking Martin was using anti-gay language. The confusion was eventually cleared up, but that didn’t stop San Diego from taking a knee at the start of the second half and