US soccer team forfeits match after anti-gay slur

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SAN DIEGO – San Diego Loyal forfeited a second-division soccer match in the United States in protest against an anti-gay slur apparently hurled at one of its players.

The comment toward Collin Martin, who is openly gay, was said to be made near the end of the first half of Wednesday’s match against Phoenix Rising at Torero Stadium.

Martin’s teammates were seen rallying around him as they walked off the field at halftime. When they came back out for the second half, Loyal’s players and coaches took a knee and then walked off, thereby forfeiting the match.

Loyal was winning 3-1 at the time.

“SD Loyal forfeited the match in support of Martin and the diversity that the club stands for within its community,” the club said.

Loyal said in a statement that players and coaches heard the slur, but the match referees did nothing about it.

Loyal forfeited its previous match -- a 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy II -- after player Elijah Martin was the victim of a racial slur by an opponent in the second half.

“SD Loyal finishes its first season in the USL Championship with consecutive forfeits,” the club said, “making a strong message that it will not stand for such behavior.”

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