Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen called his players' refusal to play Wednesday night a sign of "disrespect" and made him question "how much I want to invest in the team."
Real Salt Lake's contest against visiting Los Angeles FC was one of five games postponed in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"It's taking a lot of wind out of my sails, what effort I put into recruiting players and building a great team," Hansen told a Utah radio station. "It just seems that's not a great path for me to take."
After Hansen made the remarks Thursday morning on KXRK's "Radio From Hell" program, several athletes quickly responded on social media — including Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.
He needs to sell the team then. I’m involved in a group that’s ready to purchase it. Time for change. https://t.co/ETiM3YUyxr— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) August 27, 2020
"He needs to sell the team then," Altidore posted on Twitter. "I'm involved in a group that's ready to purchase it. Time for a change."
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 27, 2020
"WOW... if it's taken 'the wind' out then sell the team," Mitchell tweeted. "I stand with @realsaltlake players."
Games and practices were postponed across the sports landscape Wednesday and Thursday, including the NBA, WNBA, MLB, NFL and professional tennis.
Wow just wow! I can’t even right now. @realsaltlake locker room, fans, and front office that stand for equality, human rights, and the fight against racism I applaud you. I am disgusted by DLH comments. This is more than a game. https://t.co/PDYsD6hvKK— Nick Rimando (@NickRimando) August 27, 2020
Hansen made his feelings clear about the player-led boycotts.
"It's a moment of sadness," the Real Salt Lake owner told the radio station. "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 was profound to me personally."
Hansen acquired full ownership of RSL in January 2013. He also owns Utah Royals FC of the National Women's Soccer League and Rio Tinto Stadium, the home park for both clubs.