The first Real Salt Lake home game in five months happened in Sandy Wednesday after delays from COVID-19 and a player strike over the police killing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. on Aug. 23., as well as standing against police brutality.
Real Salt Lake was supposed to take the field last Wednesday against Los Angeles FC, but that game was delayed at the last minute over Blake's shooting, which left him paralyzed.
Hundreds of fans were already at Rio Tinto Stadium, and heard the announcement of the the stadium's PA system 45 minutes prior to game time.
The morning after the game, team owner Dell Low Hansen made controversial comments on a radio station he owns, saying he was hurt personally by the player's decision not to play.
Hansen told the X96 Radio From Hell program:
"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."
Shortly after a story from The Athletic came out alleging that Hansen has a history of racist behavior which includes using the "n-word" twice during a conversation with staff, asking "when are we going to lynch this guy?" about Black player Kellyn Acosta, and saying he thought Black player Aaron Maund looked like a "thug."
A former RSL intern also says he was let go after speaking up about racist language.
The stadium was open to just five thousand fans because of COVID-19 guidelines. Rio Tinto Stadium holds more than 20,000 fans.
Roughly 15,000 seats were made unusable thanks to zip ties, forcing fans to social distance.