Junior Flemmings is finished for the year. (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)
Junior Flemmings is through for the USL Championship season.
Flemmings, a member of Phoenix Rising FC, Tuesday was suspended for the six games by the league for the use of foul and abusive language in the form of homophobic slur against San Diego Loyal SC Sept. 30.
The Jamaican international and former Red Bull II forward’s suspension includes the entire Championship playoffs.
The league’s investigation included interviews with 11 individuals – players, coaches and match officials.
The 24-year-old Flemmings’ suspension covers the entirety of the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs.
As per the player’s contract, Flemmings could also be subject to additional discipline from Phoenix Rising FC and remains on administrative leave.
Phoenix Rising did not protest the suspension.
“Phoenix Rising accepts and supports the results of this investigation,” general manager Bobby Dulle said in a statement. “These actions could not be more contrary to the core values of our organization, and we apologize to all who were affected.”
Flemmings will remain on administrative leave for the remainder of his existing contract term with Phoenix Rising, which concludes Nov. 30. In a press release, the team said that it will provide Flemmings with the resources he needs “to learn and grow from this, so that he may become a model for change in our sport.”
“We will use this as an opportunity to learn, grow and be a force for change, as we work towards eradicating bias from our sport and our community,” Dulle added.
Flemmings’ suspension began with this past Saturday’s match against LA Galaxy II and covers the entire playoffs. He had accrued 14 goals in as many matches this past season.
On Sept. 30, players, coaches and staff took a knee at the start of the second half of a match against visiting Phoenix Rising and then walked off the pitch protesting the use of a homophobic slur.
Former U.S. international standout Landon Donovan is San Diego’s manager.
Collin Martin, who the slur was directed towards, walked up the ramp at Torero Stadium with teammates rallying around him, each sharing an embrace as they made their way to the locker room. The incident happened moments prior to halftime of SD Loyal’s regular season finale as the team was vying for a post season berth.
San Diego forfeited the match in support of Martin.
Flemmings performed with Red Bulls II from 2016-17.
He has made 10 appearances for the Reggae Boyz since making his international debut in 2017.