Real Salt Lake’s Dell Loy Hansen To Sell Clubs After Being Accused of Using Racist Language …
Hansen also failed to support his players who stood up against racism and refused to play Wednesday’s Real Salt Lake match
After building soccer in Utah, Dell Loy Hansen wants out and is selling Utah Soccer Holdings — perhaps because of the huge financial impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the combustible tension over racial injustice combined with allegations that he has used racial language.
It is always big news when a professional sports team is up for sale, but the news is seismically larger when one investor makes three teams available.
Why does Dell Loy Hansen want out?
Hansen, who has owned Real Salt Lake since 2013, was not in support of his players wanting to cancel games in support of Black Lives Matters. While other MLS owners stood silent or offered support while their teams used the strength of their combined voices to stand up against racial injustice, Hanson went on one of the radio stations he owned in Salt Lake and criticized his players.
Being an investor-operator of a pro sports team during the economically turbulent and challenging times of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is far from an easy task. Being a club owner who chooses not to support its players standing up against racism, well that is like pouring oil on a fire.
“Dell Loy Hansen made headlines across the country as he lambasted his own players for protesting against racial injustice on Wednesday night is a quote from “Catch up on whirlwind news day as Dell Loy Hansen blasts players, accused of racist abuse” on SBNation.
Hansen’s was crucified in the media for not supporting his players as they refused to take to the field.
The Real Salt Lake match, along with four other MLS games, was postponed as the players stood in solidarity against inequality and racial injustice. The MLS matches postponed were:
- Inter Miami vs. Atlanta United.
- FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids.
- Los Angeles FC vs. Real Salt Lake.
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers.
- Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders.
This latest action was in response to the Wisconsin police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back earlier this week. Widespread support from professional athletes in the WNBA, NBA, and MLB also forced games to be postponed.
Hansen did not take kindly to players boycotting the match against Los Angeles FC
While nothing, in the big picture, is more important that everyone using their voices to fight against inequality and racial injustice, Hansen was more focused on his players not listening to him and the fragility of the limp sports market than national issues.
“It’s like someone stabbed you and then you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward. That’s what it feels like. The disrespect was profound to me, personally,” Hansen said Thursday morning on X96, a Salt Lake City radio station he owns.
However, according to reports, former RSL player Andy Williams, who has been the club’s head scout since hanging up his pro cleats in 2011 believes Hansen is simply a racist. FOX News in Salt Lake quotes William who is black as saying,
“That’s just how he is. He’s a f*****g racist, to be honest.”Andy Williams on FOX News – Salt Lake
The uproar drew enough attention that Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League launched investigations into Hansen’s alleged use of racist language to employees and players.
NWSL player Crystal Dunn tweeted the message below:
Hansen’s quick decision to take a leave of absence during MLS & NWSL investigations morphed into the owner wanting to sell.
Dell Loy Hansen’s full statement and a letter sent this morning obtained by RSL Soapbox is below:
To the RSL Community –
I recognize that at times I have spoken too quickly, without pausing to consider the feelings or good intentions of others. This is not acceptable and I assume full responsibility for allowing my words to travel unfiltered as to their significance and impact.
I believe that communities are strengthened by diversity. I am truly sorry for offending and being insensitive to the plight of others. I seek to do better and commit to supporting and improving diversity and inclusion in my own community going forward.
After deep consideration and soul-searching, my wife Julie and I agree that the best way forward for the Real Salt Lake family is to assume new ownership and a refreshed vision. We are fully invested in supporting the transition to new ownership and will work diligently to try to ensure that the Club stays within our community. We will support the organization and its employees in moving quickly so as to minimally disrupt this season and allow new ownership adequate time to plan for the 2021 season.
Real Salt Lake has our full support. We have been blessed with loving friendships that are expressed daily. These will be sorely missed. We love our community and our family and sincerely hope for the best outcomes for each. Know that our hearts will always bleed Claret and Cobalt.
Dell Loy Hansen
Today’s Statement from MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Hansen Wanting To Sell RSL:
Major League Soccer has been informed that Real Salt Lake Investor-Operator Dell Loy Hansen has decided that he will begin a process to sell Utah Soccer Holdings, the entity that owns Real Salt Lake (MLS), Utah Royals FC (NWSL) and Real Monarchs (USL).
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. 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.
Today’s Statement from National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner, Lisa Baird:
“The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has been informed that Dell Loy Hansen will begin the process to sell Utah Soccer Holdings, the entity that owns Utah Royals FC. That decision is in the best interest of the club and the NWSL.
Mr. Hansen’s contributions to the league’s growth and the continued development of soccer are notable, but we agree that the decision is the right one for the future of the Royals. We look forward to supporting the Royals players and staff and will assist the ownership transition in every way possible.”
Updated at 3:35 PST to include National Women’s Soccer League’s Lisa Baird statement.