Phoenix Rising FC head coach Rick Schantz will be back with his team on Saturday for the USL Championship Western Conference final after being reinstated on Wednesday.
The reinstatement comes after Rising FC ownership received a “note of support” from San Diego Loyal SC’s Collin Martin. Schantz was put on administrative leave by the club after appearing insensitive when Phoenix’s Junior Flemmings directed a homophobic slur toward Martin, who is openly gay, during the clubs’ match on Sept. 30.
“Rick has apologized to me personally and I accept that apology as genuine,” Martin said in a statement released by Phoenix Rising FC. “We all come to our education on issues at different times, and he is beginning to understand the pain and disappointment he caused his team, the fans and the LGBTQ community. I see no reason not to give him my blessing and an opportunity to prove that someone can change.”
MORE: Phoenix Rising FC reinstates coach Rick Schantz for Western Conference Final vs. El Paso
Since the incident, which resulted in Flemmings being put on administrative leave for the remainder of his contract, Phoenix and…