SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 2, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Real Salt Lake Chief Business Officer Andy Carroll is taking a leave of absence, the team’s front office announced Wednesday.
The announcement comes following an article in the RSL Soapbox, which claimed a “sexist and toxic culture” within the organization.
A statement from Utah Soccer Tuesday said: “Utah Soccer was extremely disappointed by the allegations in the recent RSL Soapbox article regarding Mr. Carroll. Mr. Carroll has spent notable time and energy to further the business operations of the organization. Still, Utah Soccer takes these allegations extremely seriously. Utah Soccer prioritizes the safety, well-being, and security of its players and employees above all, and does not tolerate discriminatory or derogatory conduct of any kind. While Utah Soccer endeavors to learn more about the allegations raised in the article, Mr. Carroll will be taking a leave of absence from the organization until further notice.”
The announcement came just days after the news Sunday morning that Dell Loy Hansen is set to sell Utah Soccer Holdings, the entity that owns Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals FC and Real Monarchs.
Hansen has been the majority owner of RSL since acquiring the club in 2013.
The move comes after a Thursday morning interview on a radio station Hansen owns, in which he criticized Major League Soccer players including those from RSL for choosing not to play last Wednesday in response to the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
A subsequent report in The Athletic detailed multiple allegations of racist remarks by Hansen, prompting MLS and National Women’s Soccer League investigations.
On Friday, it was announced Hansen would take a leave of absence.
A statement released by RSL late Friday afternoon said: “As MLS and NWSL commence their investigations, Utah Soccer will ensure full cooperation, including seeking to answer any questions the leagues may have about the statements made by Mr. Hansen regarding athlete boycotts and allegations in a resulting article. As an organization, our priority is our employees, our teams, our players, and our fans, and Mr. Hansen in particular cares deeply for each of these individuals who works so hard to make Utah Soccer the success that it is.
“During the pendency of these investigations, and until further notice, Mr. Hansen will be taking a leave of absence from all RSL, URFC, and Monarchs operations. The existing Soccer Executive Group at Utah Soccer will assume all management of the organization.”
Sunday morning, Hansen announced he would be selling the teams. A statement released by RSL reads, in full:
“To the RSL Community —
“I recognize that at times I have spoken too quickly, without pausing to consider the feelings or good intentions of others. This is not acceptable and I assume full responsibility for allowing my words to travel unfiltered as to their significance and impact.
“I believe that communities are strengthened by diversity. I am truly sorry for offending and being insensitive to the plight of others. I seek to do better and commit to supporting and improving diversity and inclusion in my own community going forward.
“After deep consideration and soul-searching, my wife Julie and I agree that the best way forward for the Real Salt Lake family is to assume new ownership and a refreshed vision. We are fully invested in supporting the transition to new ownership and will work diligently to try to ensure that the Club stays within our community. We will support the organization and its employees in moving quickly so as to minimally disrupt this season and allow new ownership adequate time to plan for the 2021 season.
“Real Salt Lake has our full support. We have been blessed with loving friendships that are expressed daily. These will be sorely missed. We love our community and our family and sincerely hope for the best outcomes for each. Know that our hearts will always bleed Claret and Cobalt. — Sincerely, Dell Loy Hansen”
A statement from MLS Commissioner Don Garber concerning Hansen’s decision said: “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 entity that owns Real Salt Lake (MLS), Utah Royals FC (NWSL) and Real Monarchs (USL).
RSL is set to welcome defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC this evening, Sept. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on KMYU, the KSL TV app and ESPN700 radio.
For a full list of safety protocols put in place for the match at Rio Tinto Stadium to keep players, staff, fans and media safe, click here.