Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen Notes 'Disrespect' From Player Strike

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Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen said he felt "disrespected" by his players after they made the decision to not play against LAFC on Wednesday.

The club opted to sit out Wednesday's MLS contest in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wis. 

Real Salt Lake and LAFC decided not to play as a show of solidarity with NBA, WNBA and MLB teams who also opted to protest racial injustice.

"All I can say is they supported other issues nationally; they clearly did not support our city or our organization," Hansen said on Wednesday. "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."

Hansen and Real Salt Lake recently brought 40 employees back into the organization following a slate of furloughs in April. But Hansen said that decision may be reversed after Wednesday's strike.

"We will not be inviting fans back to the stadium in the future, so tomorrow. ...I start cutting 40 to 50 jobs again,” Hansen said. “We would not go through the risk of inviting people back to have that kind of an outcome.”

Former Real Salt Lake player Nick Rimando said he was "disgusted" by Hansen's comments. Jazz point guard Donovan Mitchell and Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore called on Hansen to sell the team.

On Thursday, MLS commissioner Don Garber released a statement in response to Hansen's comments, which he said do not reflect the feelings of the league.

“I appreciate Dell Loy Hansen’s efforts to build the sport of soccer in Utah. His commitment to MLS, the NWSL and the USL, as well as the game at the youth level, has been significant," the statement read. "However, I strongly disagree with the comments he made today and the way they were expressed. They do not reflect the views of MLS.

“This is a time for all of us to work together in the pursuit of racial equality and social justice. Major League Soccer and all of its clubs will continue to support and create initiatives that enact real change.”

NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird also released a statement Thursday afternoon:

“Dell Loy Hansen’s remarks regarding player protests are in conflict with the values of the NWSL," Baird wrote. "Black Lives Matter, racism in this country is real, and we all must continue the critically important work of addressing racial injustice in our country.”

A Thursday report from The Athletic detailed Hansen's history of racist comments since he took over as Real Salt Lake's owners. MLS issued another statement in response to this story, announcing its intentions to investigate the matter.

“We are deeply concerned about the allegations made in a report published this evening concerning language used by and the conduct of Dell Loy Hansen. Major League Soccer has zero tolerance for this type of language or conduct and will immediately commence an investigation.”

The NWSL will also begin an investigation into Hansen, who owns the Utah Royals FC.

The MLS Players' Association released a statement in response to The Athletic's story, calling Hansen's remarks "sickening" and demanding Hansen be forced to sell the team if the allegations are substantiated.

It's undetermined whether Real Salt Lake will play the Timbers on Saturday. The match is slated to be held in Portland at 10:30 p.m. E.T.