USL announces suspension, fine for Phoenix Rising FC player after use of 'foul and abusive language'

Posted at 12:06 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 15:35:27-04

Phoenix Rising FC's midfielder has been issued a six-game suspension and a fine after using "foul and abusive language" during a recent game.

On Tuesday, officials with the United Soccer League released a statement announcing the punishments against Junior Flemmings as a result of the league's investigation into the incident.

During the Sept. 30 match, Junior Flemmings was accused of using a homophobic slur directed toward San Diego Loyal player Collin Martin, who in 2018 announced he was gay. The Loyal team eventually chose to forfeit the rest of the match in protest against the alleged incident.

The statement additionally noted that Flemmings would be on leave for the remainder of his contract:

"In addition to serving the suspension imposed by USL, Flemmings will remain on administrative leave for the remainder of his existing contract term with Phoenix Rising which concludes November 30, 2020. The team will provide Flemmings with the resources he needs to learn and grow from this, so that he may become a model for change in our sport."

ABC15 spoke with Phoenix Rising FC coach following the incident. Watch the interview in the player above.

Officials did not disclose the amount of the fine.

After the incident occurred, Flemmings claimed the accusation is false, saying, “At no point did I say a homophobic slur toward Collin Martin… I am disappointed by San Diego’s actions this evening as I have been mauled and ridiculed online with no opportunity to defend myself. I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ movement.”