Racing Santander players made quite the statement in the Copa del Rey on Thursday. (Pedro Puente Hoyos/EPA)
Racing Santander players and coaches had not been paid in months. Instead of continuing to play on under a cloud of uncertainty, they took matters into their own hands.
Backing up its threat to not play unless the club's president and board resigned, Racing refused to play its Copa del Rey second leg (the home leg, no less) against Real Sociedad Thursday, throwing away a chance to reach the semifinals of the competition for the opportunity to make a grander statement.
The club, which employed Carlos Bocanegra on loan from Rangers last year before the former U.S. national team captain linked up with Chivas USA, has plummeted to Spain's third division, yet had a chance to reach the semifinals against Barcelona if it could overturn a 3-1 deficit.
Instead, upon the opening kick, Racing players lined along the center circle arm-in-arm, while players and coaches on the bench did the same as Sociedad players kicked the ball around their own half. Racing's goalkeeper conferred with the referee, who blew play dead, drawing a raucous roar of approval from the home fans. Real Sociedad will have the place in the semifinals. For Racing, there is a different set of priorities.
Watch the incredible moment of club unity below: