Phoenix Rising midfielder Junior Flemmings has been banned for six games for making a homophobic comment to San Diego Loyal’s Collin Martin.
Jamaica international Flemmings, 24, made the comment during their recent second-tier USL Championship game.
The Loyal players walked off in protest to forfeit a match they were leading 3-1, ending their chances of reaching the play-offs.
“I never had a word said to me like that,” said Martin, who is gay.
“I have heard homophobic language throughout my career and growing up but not to the point where it was directed at me like that. I felt personally attacked.
“I was emotional coming off the field not knowing what was going to happen. Not understanding why someone would say that to me.”
Martin, 25, who has previously played for MLS club DC United, also said he was grateful for the support of his team-mates and manager Landon Donovan, who had demanded action against Flemmings.
“For this team to show that there are more things that are important than the actual game means a lot,” he added. (BBC)