San Diego Loyal SC head coach and USMNT legend Landon Donovan has garnered significant attention for pulling his team from a game against Phoenix Rising when one of the opposing players reportedly made a homophobic slur directed at one of his players.
Donovan and the Loyal were winning the game 3-1 at the time he pulled his players. As a result, the crucial game was ultimately abandoned.
The alleged slur was reportedly directed at Loyal midfielder Collin Martin. He came out while he was a member of MLS’ Minnesota United in 2018.
Since making their stand last night, the soccer world and LGBTQ+ community alike have collectively taken to social media to show support for Donovan’s decision.
Jason Collins, the first active NBA player to come out, took to Twitter in support Donovan and the San Diego Loyal:
I applaud Landon Donovan and his team the San Diego Loyal for taking a stand— Homophobia & racism have no place in sport. Rick Schantz and his club the Phoenix Rising should be embarrassed for their behavior. https://t.co/0cGkAHBgFT
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) October 1, 2020
The decision has also garnered support from around the world:
Landon Donovan on why San Diego Loyal decided to forfeit a match against Phoenix Rising yesterday, after a player received homophobic abuse from an opponent.
Together against homophobia 🏳️🌈✊ pic.twitter.com/Ie1c51432c
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) October 1, 2020
This is brilliant from Landon Donovan after the alleged homophobia towards one of his players.
Zero tolerance of bigotry is the only way to root it out of the game pic.twitter.com/y59WbSg5fF
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) October 1, 2020
This isn’t the first time that Landon Donovan and the Loyal have been faced with on-field controversies though. As Grant Wahl pointed out, the action comes just a week after another of their players was the target of a racial slur.
This is important to hear. Landon Donovan on why his team forfeited a game it was winning in a tight playoff race after his player (who is out) received a homophobic slur. It comes the week after another SD player was the target of a racist slur. Teams need to walk off the field. https://t.co/V87p0psSRl
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 1, 2020
The USL Championship has pledged to investigate this matter further. We all hope that if they confirm what’s been reported that there will be stiff penalties for whoever said that.
Well done Landon Donovan, and well done to San Diego Loyal SC.