Phoenix Rising Player Denies Calling San Diego Loyal Player Homophobic Slur

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday October 2, 2020

Out gay San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin
Out gay San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin  (Source:Associated Press)

After denying yesterday that he had called an opponent a homophobic slur, Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Junior Flemmings has been placed on leave by his club while the incident is investigated, according to The Daily Mail.

As EDGE reported on Thursday, Flemmings, a Jamaican man, allegedly called San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin, an openly gay man, a "Bati boy" on the field — a homophobic Jamaican term specifically disparaging gay men. Following the incident, a referee gave Martin a red card when he thought the player was calling him the slur. The red card was rescinded after the confused referee clarified the situation. Martin's team then protested by taking a knee at the second half whistle and then walked off the field in solidarity with Martin when Flemmings hadn't been removed from the game. Martin issued a social media statement on Thursday:

Flemmings also issued a statement in his defense, claiming he never called Martin a slur on the field, and accusing the out gay player of providing "no evidence to support the claim" and that his "fellow teammates will support my claim." Par for the course in similar instances — well, with the exception of Israel Folau — Flemmings ended his statement proclaiming he stands "in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ movement."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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