FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2020
PHOENIX – Rep. César Chávez released the following statement after reports that a Phoenix Rising professional soccer player directed an anti-gay slur at openly gay San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin on Wednesday during the USL Championship match in San Diego. After dismissive comments about the incident by Phoenix Rising coach Rick Schantz during a discussion with referees, Loyal Coach Landon Donovan and his players left the field in protest with their team winning 3-1.
"Soccer is a tremendous sport and Phoenix Rising is my team, but anti-gay bigotry should have no place in the game or the public square," said Chávez, D-Phoenix, who is a member of the Arizona LGBTQ Legislative Caucus. "San Diego Loyal Coach Landon Donovan and his players showed incredible integrity, class and courage by walking off the pitch in protest in the middle of a championship game that they were winning 3-1. I wish I could say the same for the actions of our team's coach. Our history is filled with moments when athletics has transcended entertainment to call out and right wrongs. This was one of those moments. We are above these remarks and ask that the Phoenix Rising takes action to ensure that the LGBTQ can too form part of this sport’s culture."