Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen was critical of the decision on Wednesday among MLS players around the league to not play their scheduled games in protest of racial injustice, specifically the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who police shot seven times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. During an interview on a radio station he owns, he compared the players' decision to being stabbed, and said it was disrespectful to the local community.
"[T]hey clearly supported national issues, but it's very apparent that they didn't support our local community," Hansen said, per ESPN. "[T]here's a profound disappointment that the spirit that is Real was abandoned last night. ... Obviously, the importance of bringing community together during COVID was not respected."
Hansen not only owns the local MLS franchise, but also Utah Royals FC of the National Women's Soccer League. He continued on, saying that the walkout was "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."
The owner also threatened to pull his money out of the club and fire more employees from his stadium as a consequence of what happened Wednesday. Rio Tinto Stadium had its capacity reduced to 5,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the owner states he brought back workers in response to the return of fans.