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USL suspends Phoenix Rising FC player Junior Flemmings for homophobic slur during match

Phoenix Rising FC says Junior Flemmings will remain on administrative leave for the remainder of his existing contract term with Phoenix Rising.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The United Soccer League announced Tuesday it is suspending Phoenix Rising FC player Junior Flemmings. 

The move came nearly a week after San Diego Loyal SC players walked off the pitch in protest after Flemmings allegedly used gay slurs during the match.

The suspension is for six games.

Additionally, Phoenix Rising FC said Flemmings will remain on administrative leave for the remainder of his existing contract term with Phoenix Rising, which concludes on Nov. 30. 

“Phoenix Rising accepts and supports the results of this investigation,” said Phoenix Rising FC General Manager Bobby Dulle said in a statement Tuesday

“These actions could not be more contrary to the core values of our organization, and we apologize to all who were affected.” 

The USL said its investigation included interviews with 11 individuals, including players, coaches and match officials. 

The San Diego club forfeited the match last Wednesday in the 45th minute despite being up two goals on Phoenix. The team claims Flemmings hurled homophobic insults at openly gay midfielder Collin Martin.

RELATED: Phoenix Rising player denies homophobic slur after San Diego Loyal forfeits game in protest

Flemmings, a Jamaican midfielder, vehemently denied the accusation on Twitter after the game.

“The referee admitted he did not hear any homophobic slurs and was utterly confused by the situation,” he argued. “I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ movement.”

His Twitter account has since been deactivated.

Phoenix Rising FC said it will "provide Flemmings with the resources he needs to learn and grow from this, so that he may become a model for change in our sport."  

A week prior to San Diego's match against Phoenix Rising FC, Loyal players forfeited a point in protest after an LA Galaxy II player allegedly yelled racist slurs at a San Diego player.