Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen is to sell the Major League Soccer club – days after he criticised the team’s players for their protest over the Jacob Blake shooting.
Real’s game at home to Los Angeles FC was one of five Major League Soccer matches called off on Wednesday. Hansen said he felt “disrespected” by the postponement, adding: “It’s like somebody stabbed you.” An MLS statement said the league would help “support the sale efforts”. Blake, a black man, was shot seven times in the back by police last Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks called off their NBA fixture, which led to games in the NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS being called off, while Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of a WTA match in New York on Thursday. On Thursday, defender Nedum Onuoha said he was considering his future at Real Salt Lake after Hansen’s comments. “I don’t want to be here because I’m not here to play for someone who isn’t here to support us,” ex-Manchester City player Onuoha said. “We are trying to create a bigger conversation but a lot of the people who are in power don’t empathise or sympathise or do anything. They are more concerned with themselves.” Hansen’s comments have been widely condemned across US football’s professional leagues. Hansen owns the MLS club through Utah Soccer Holdings which also owns Utah Royals FC, who play in the National Women’s Soccer League and Real Monarchs in the second-tier United Soccer League. Billionaire Hansen had said the cancellation of the game would mean he would reduce his level of investment in the club and make redundancies across the business. “We’re all sitting here at an organisation trying to build support and love around a team that supports the city,” he told a local radio station. “All I can say is they supported other issues nationally. They clearly did not support our city or our organisation. That’s fairly clear. “It’s a moment of sadness. It’s like somebody stabbed you and you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward. That’s what it feels like. The disrespect is profound to me personally.”