Real Salt Lake and Utah’s two other professional soccer teams will be getting a new owner.
MLS announced Sunday that Dell Loy Hansen, the subject of a league investigation following multiple reports that he made racist comments in front of employees and others, would be selling RSL, the Utah Royals of National Women’s Soccer League and Real Monarchs, RSL’s affiliate in the second-tier USL Championship.
“Major League Soccer has been informed that Real Salt Lake investor-operator Dell Loy Hansen has decided that he will begin a process to sell Utah Soccer Holdings,” the company that owns the the three teams, league commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
It added that MLS will work with Hansen “on supporting the sale efforts for the company and will work closely with the club’s executive staff to support the operations of the team during the transition period.”
Hansen initially came under fire on Thursday after he criticized his own Real Salt Lake players for joining their peers across MLS and other sports in refusing to play a scheduled match a day earlier to bring attention to systemic racism and police brutality directed toward Black people. “It’s like somebody stabbed you and you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out,” Hansen said.
Current and former RSL and Royals players blasted Hansen’s comments. Later the same day, the Athletic published an article which catalogued a pattern of racist comments attributed to Hansen over the years. Another incident was reported Saturday by the Salt Lake Tribune.
MLS opened an investigation following the Athletic’s report, which included an allegation that Hansen used the N-word multiple times in front of Andy Williams, a former RSL player who at the time was the club’s chief scout. On Friday, Hansen took a leave of absence from Utah Soccer Holdings.
“I want to acknowledge Dell Loy Hansen’s significant efforts to build the sport of soccer in the state of Utah and for his commitment to Major League Soccer,” Garber’s statement concluded.
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