Phoenix Rising head coach Rick Schantz issued a statement apologizing for his involvement in an incident last week in which team forward Junior Flemmings was accused of using a homophobic slur during a game in San Diego.
Schantz, who is on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, said he is pursuing a counseling plan with LGBTQ+ leaders.
Schantz drew criticism after last Wednesday’s game against San Diego Loyal SC, after he was overheard on a video clip discussing the matter with San Diego’s coach, Landon Donovan, apparently making remarks insensitive to the accusation.
“At the time I did not understand the accusation fully, and my immediate reaction was to defend my player and my team,” Schantz said in the statement Monday.
Opinion: Statements about inclusivity mean nothing if teams aren’t willing to back them up
San Diego player Collin Martin, an openly gay player, accused Flemmings of directing a homophobic slur at him. Flemmings, who also was placed on leave, has denied the…