Dell Loy Hansen will sell MLS’ Real Salt Lake, NWSL’s Utah Royals FC
Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League's Utah Royals FC, will sell his professional soccer teams, MLS commissioner Don Garber said Sunday.
"MLS will work with Mr. Hansen on supporting the sale efforts for the company and will work closely with the club’s executive staff to support the operations of the team during the transition period," Garber said in a statement.
Hansen said during a radio interview Thursday RSL's decision to not play the previous night against Los Angeles FC, as pro sports teams across the country sought to bring attention to racial injustice, took "a lot of wind out of my sails, what effort I want to put into recruiting players and building a great team.
"It’s like somebody stabbed you and you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward," Hansen said regarding the team's protest. "That’s what it feels like. The disrespect was profound to me personally."
Statement from MLS Commissioner Don Garberhttps://t.co/haS3gR0tc6pic.twitter.com/JAsCWf18lz
Later Thursday, The Athletic published a report that Hansen has allegedly used racist language while dealing with players and personnel. MLS opened an investigation into the incidents.
The MLS Players Association called the allegations concerning Hansen "sickening" and advocated for an immediate suspension. "If the allegations are substantiated," the group said, "he must be forced to sell the team." The NWSLPA issued a similar statement Thursday night as well. On Saturday, players across the league shared on social media statements from Black players of the NWSL, which said: "Dell Loy Hansen's (alleged) comments are disgraceful and we stand with the Utah Royals, Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs players as they move to suspend and investigate Dell Loy."
Hansen will be selling Utah Soccer Holdings, which includes RSL, the Royals and the United Soccer League's Monarchs.
After entering the organization as a minority owner, Hansen acquired full ownership of RSL in January 2013. In November 2017, Hansen acquired the NWSL's FC Kansas City and moved the team to to Salt Lake City. The team competed as the Royals the next year.
"I want to acknowledge Dell Loy Hansen’s significant efforts to build the sport of soccer in the state of Utah and for his commitment to Major League Soccer," Garber said in his statement.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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