The MLS, USL And NWSL Have A Utah Problem

Dell Loy Hansen is facing two soccer investigations.  

Last week’s Major League Soccer players protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin was met with criticism from the owner of Real Salt Lake City. Now MLS Commissioner Don Garber and league administrators are looking into whether the team owner Dell Loy Hansen used racist words in team related conversations. Hansen also owns the United Soccer League’s Real Monarchs and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Utah Royals. Hansen drew attention last week when he said that players who decided not to play while demanding social justice was a sign of disrespect and that he was not sure how much he wanted to invest into his soccer holdings. Hansen then took a leave of absence from running his three soccer teams.

Major League Soccer announced a probe into allegations Hansen used racially charged words after the Athletic sports news website published the claim.  A former Hansen employee alleged that Hansen made a number of racially insensitive remarks and used a racial slur. Hansen’s wife quickly defended her husband. Julie Hansen said her husband “does not have a racist bone in his body” and that “no one supports equality more than this man.” The Major League Soccer Players Association wanted an immediate Hansen suspension and added if the accusation about Hansen using racist language was true, then the MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the league ownership group should force Hansen to sell the team. Hansen did say that “the players intentions were probably misinterpreted on my side”. The National Women’s Soccer League is also investing Hansen remarks in the Athletic’s story. “The allegations regarding Dell Loy Hansen contained in published reports are shocking and run counter to everything the NWSL stands for. We will immediately begin an investigation, and if these reports are substantiated, take appropriate actions.” Athletes are no longer shutting up and just playing.

Photo: MLS Soccer