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Phoenix Rising Places Coach Rick Schantz, Junior Flemmings On Leave Amid Investigation

Published: Friday, October 2, 2020 - 12:34pm

A Phoenix Rising player accused of making a anti-gay slur, along with the soccer club’s head coach, have been placed on administrative leave as an investigation is conducted into the incident.

The Rising placed midfielder Junior Flemmings and head coach Rick Schantz on leave as the United Soccer League looks into what happened Wednesday in Southern California. 

That’s when the club won in a forfeit after the San Diego Loyal walked off the field to protest an alleged slur Flemmings apparently aimed at one of its openly gay players. Flemmings has denied using the Jamaican expression considered demeaning.

Schantz was caught in an apparent misunderstanding with Loyal manager Landon Donovan before Donovan took his team off the field in protest over the comment.

State Rep. Cesar Chavez, part of Arizona’s LGBTQ Legislative Council, denounced the comments, saying anti-gay bigotry has no place in soccer.