Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha has expressed his anger at the club’s owner after he failed to back their protest over the Jacob Blake shooting.
Real’s game at home to Los Angeles FC was one of five Major League Soccer matches called off on Wednesday.
Owner Dell Loy Hansen said he felt “disrespected” by the postponement.
“I don’t want to be here because I’m not here to play for someone who isn’t here to support us,” ex-Manchester City player Onuoha told BBC World Service.
“We are trying to create a bigger conversation but a lot of the people who are in power don’t empathise or sympathise or do anything. They are more concerned with themselves.”
Billionaire Hansen said the cancellation would mean he would reduce his level of investment in the club and make redundancies across the business.
“We’re all sitting here at an organisation trying to build support and love around a team that supports the city,” he told a local radio station.
“All I can say is they supported other issues nationally. They clearly did not support our city or our organisation. That’s fairly clear.
“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.”
Blake, a black man, was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee.
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks called off their NBA fixture and two other games were also postponed. In baseball, three MLB games were called off after teams decided not to play, while Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of a WTA match in New York on Thursday.
Onuoha, who spent six years at QPR before moving to the US, said MLS players hold little power compared to owners and the league itself.
“It didn’t feel right to be playing a game when people are trying to highlight a big conversation and things that are bigger than sport,” the 33-year-old said.
“I was brought to tears this morning as I was listening to stories of what has happened over the last few days and knowing the owner isn’t in agreement and now seeing this stuff here.
“These are cries for help and for people at the very top to get behind us because that is where the biggest change can come, but we are being left and being criticised.
“If you want to make a stance, the pushback is massive and MLS players don’t earn enough money to feel that they have enough value to have an opinion and to be able to make change.
“I’d like to say I’m proud, but I wish it is something that we didn’t have to do.”
Sports Life. Real News. Real Voices
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