Former Man City defender Onuoha wants RSL exit after owner sparks backlash

Dell Loy Hansen Real Salt Lake

Dell Loy Hansen Real Salt Lake

Former RSL player turned team scout Andy Williams - a Black man - spoke bluntly on the record with The Athletic about Hansen while comparing him to disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was blackballed from the National Basketball Association after a history of racist behavior.

He called the player walkout disrespectful.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said he disagreed with Hansen's comments.

Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake, railed on Friday (NZ time) against players from his soccer club who joined other sports teams in protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake by choosing to not play.

MLS and NWSL players are united in their call for the removal of one of their team owners. I've been in situations where it's like [former LA 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".

Williams recounted a separate incident in which he said Hansen casually used the N-word in a dispute with a team employee. Should they corroborate allegations mentioned in the article, both groups called on the leagues to take swift action.

"The MLSPA calls on MLS to immediately suspend Hansen and conduct a thorough investigation, " the statement said.

Hansen acquired majority control of Real Salt Lake in 2014.

Hansen, who also owns the NWSL's Utah Royals and USL's Real Monarchs, detailed how he brought club workers he had earlier furloughed back to work and his staff had undertaken a "Herculean effort" to welcome back fans and there was a "decision somehow to punish local fans, local businesses and a local sense of community pride", which he said was hard to take.

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"It's like someone stabbed you and then you're trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward", Hansen told radio station KXRK. That's what it feels like.

Williams recounted an alleged 2016 incident in which Hansen asked "when are we gonna lynch this guy?" about an opposing Black player who scored a goal.

He also said "The disrespect was profound to me, personally", and, "It's taken a lot of wind out of my sails on how much I want to invest in the team - buying players and building the team".

In his radio interview, Hansen did not address the reasons behind the players' strike.

MLS was reportedly considering taking action against Hansen even before The Athletic's report was published.

© APWF A fan sits in the stands after the scheduled game between Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC was postponed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Sandy, Utah.

The announcement by MLS caps a tumultuous day for Hansen, who came under criticism for comments about players' boycotting games on Wednesday to denounce racial injustice.

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