Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen attacked his team on a local radio station for not suiting up against LAFC on Wednesday in protest of racism and police brutality in the U.S.
Hansen told KXRK he felt as if he had been impaled by a blade and was "trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward." He threatened to reduce his investment in the club and said he would "start cutting 40 to 50 jobs again."
"The disrespect was profound to me personally,” Hansen said. “Obviously the importance of bringing community together during COVID was not respected."
In response to Hansen's radio appearance, Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha said he wanted to leave the organization. Onuoha is Black and was one of the players who led the decision to not play against LAFC.
"We are trying to create a bigger conversation but a lot of the people who are in power don't empathize or sympathize or do anything," Onuoha told the BBC. "They are more concerned with themselves."
UPDATE: The Athletic on Thursday night reported extensive allegations of racism against Hansen. It said Hansen used the N-word on one occasion around team staffers and made a number of other racist remarks.
"He’s a f—ing racist, to be honest," former head scout Andy Williams, who is Black, told The Athletic. "I’ve been in situations where it’s like (former Clippers owner) Donald Sterling. He says something, and it’s like, 'Oh, my God, what did he just say?' It’s Donald Sterling Part 2. It’s just unbelievable. It’s crazy how he doesn’t see that the stuff that he says affects people.”
The MLS Players Association released a statement Thursday night urging the league to force Hansen out if The Athletic's reporting is accurate. There is nothing to suggest the publication's accounts are incorrect; it got multiple sources to speak on the record and corroborate specific incidents.
Five MLS games were postponed Wednesday. The league joined teams in the NBA and MLB in sitting out to make their message on racial justice clear.
Over the weekend, Black American Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wis., police officer. The incident has added to nationwide outrage over the treatment of Black people by law enforcement, as well as broader racial inequalities in the country.