TAMPA, Fla. – In the wake of San Diego Loyal forfeiting its Wednesday night game due to abusive language by a Phoenix Rising player, the United Soccer League is taking steps to make sure that ugly incident doesn’t happen again.
The USL announced Thursday a partnership with The Institute for Sport and Social Justice which will see The Institute provide league-wide training and education for all staff and players.
The league also announced it will work together with the USL Players Association, the Championship and League One board of governors in order to institute increased sanctions for players and coaches found to have used foul and abusive language.
Both announcements came after San Diego Loyal decided to forfeit its final game of the Championship season after game officials did not do anything despite reported homophobic slurs directed at one player by a Phoenix player.
For more than three decades, The Institute has been delivering training services to collegiate and professional sport organizations and has specialized in responding to the needs of groups such as the USL. The Institute has demonstrated organizational capacity to execute large training agreements. It’s trainers have extensive experience working to address myriad social issues, including diversity and inclusion, in sport.
The Institute holds partnerships with the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and NASCAR, as well as ESPN. Comprised of a diverse group of former athletes who have an insider’s understanding of sport culture, The Institute’s trainers bring with them extensive experience to provide the most impactful strategies to address social issues.
The training sessions open dialogue regarding participant leadership on diversity and inclusion issues such as: power and privilege, the workplace impact of unconscious bias, the power of language and symbolism, and intersectionality, among others.