Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen: I Felt 'Disrespected' by MLS Player Strike

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

The Real Salt Lake scoreboard is shown after the scheduled game between Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC was postponed Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Sandy, Utah. Major League Soccer players boycotted five games Wednesday night in a collective statement against racial injustice. The players' action came after all three NBA playoff games were called off in a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Toronto FC star Jozy Altidore and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell called upon Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen to sell the team after he criticized the decision of players to protest Wednesday night's MLS games.

MLS postponed five matches on Wednesday once it became clear players would decline to take the field following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday. 

During an interview on X96 in Salt Lake City, Hansen was critical of the protests.

"It's a moment of sadness," he said (via Matt Montgomery of RSL Soapbox). "It's like somebody stabbed you and you're trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward. That's what it feels like. The disrespect is profound to me personally."

Hansen then implied the protests would impact the extent to which he'd invest in the club: "It's taken a lot of wind out of my sails, what effort I want to put into recruiting players and building a great team. It just seems that's not a very good path to take."

RSL legend Nick Rimando quickly condemned the comments:

Nick Rimando @NickRimando

Wow just wow! I can’t even right now. @realsaltlake locker room, fans, and front office that stand for equality, human rights, and the fight against racism I applaud you. I am disgusted by DLH comments. This is more than a game. https://t.co/PDYsD6hvKK

Altidore and Mitchell then went a step further, with Altidore saying he is part of a group that is ready to buy the club:

Jozy Altidore @JozyAltidore

He needs to sell the team then. I’m involved in a group that’s ready to purchase it. Time for change. https://t.co/ETiM3YUyxr

Donovan Mitchell @spidadmitchell

WOW... if it’s taken “the wind” out then sell the team... I stand with @realsaltlake players ✊🏾💯 https://t.co/Xym06Lpy8n

US Women's National Team legend Megan Rapinoe was also quick to condemn the comments: 

Megan Rapinoe @mPinoe

Louder!!!! Unacceptable and frankly reprehensible from DLH. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/c3U9hiodps

Hansen owned a minority stake in the club before purchasing a controlling stake in Real Salt Lake in January 2013. He also owns Utah Royals FC of the National Women's Soccer League.