Real Salt Lake’s owner takes leave of absence amid probe into racist comments
Major League Soccer is investigating Real Salt Lake’s owner Dell Loy Hansen over alleged racist comments made to employees and others.
MLS club Real Salt Lake announced Friday that their owner Dell Loy Hansen is taking leave of absence in response to an investigation by Major League Soccer into racist behaviour. The Athletic informed Hansen on Thursday over racist comments the owner was alleged to have said to his employees and others.
Real Salt Lake ownership in jeopardy
Andy Williams was a former scout for Real Salt Lake and he is among numerous people who are accusing Hansen of using racial and abusive language. In the Athletic’s interview, Williams claimed that Hansen used the n-word twice in a conversation with RSL training staff.
To support Williams' claims former defender Aaron Maund and current center back Nedum Onuoha went on record confirming the racist comments made by Hansen and spoke of how frustrated they were during various moments of his time as RSL owner.
After the report came to light, MLS announced its investigation into Hansen’s conduct as primary owner of one of its franchises. Furthermore, the National Women’s Soccer League has launched their own investigation because Hansen also owns Utah Royals FC.
“Major League Soccer has zero tolerance for this type of language or conduct and will immediately commence an investigation,” read part of the statement.
Real Salt Lake’s statement
"As MLS and NWSL commence their investigations, Utah Soccer will ensure full cooperation, including seeking to answer any questions the leagues may have about the statements made by Mr. Hansen regarding athlete boycotts and allegations in a resulting article," the statement read.
"As an organization, our priority is our employees, our teams, our players, and our fans, and Mr. Hansen in particular cares deeply for each of these individuals who works so hard to make Utah Soccer the success that it is.
"During the pendency of these investigations, and until further notice, Mr. Hansen will be taking a leave of absence from all RSL, URFC, and Monarchs operations. The existing Soccer Executive Group at Utah Soccer will assume all management of the organization."