After 25 cases of racist comments, Utah Youth Soccer is making changes

May 28, 2024, 6:35 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 8:54 am

The Utah Youth Soccer Association said racist comments have come from other players as well as pare...

The Utah Youth Soccer Association said racist comments have come from other players as well as parents. (Shelby Lofton, KSL TV)

(Shelby Lofton, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Youth Soccer Association is working to improve how it responds to racist comments on the soccer pitch.

The association reported 25 cases of racist comments in this past season. They include many player-to-player comments and many comments by parents from the stands.


Of the 25 total issues, one resulted in a parent’s indefinite suspension.

Racist comments, on and off the Utah soccer field

Diego Godoy is the founder of Utah Rio Futbol Club, who also has four children who play soccer in Utah.

He said he and his friends have heard racist comments both on and off soccer fields in Utah.

“The other players called him ‘monkey,’” Godoy said of his son. “And I said, ‘Why do you say that?’ And it’s like, ‘well you’ve got big ears and that’s why you’re a monkey’”

Godoy said the UYSA has always pushed his complaints under the carpet.

“When we start, try to complain about it, instead of having an answer, we have more complaints on top of that one,” Godoy said. “Like, oh but we heard that this had happened.”

He said the first time that he saw an issue was when his daughter left the field crying because a coach on the other team made a discriminatory comparison of his daughter to a movie character.

Godoy said he had heard racist comments from other players, parents, coaches and even refs.

Taking racist comments during soccer games seriously

The UYSA Commissioner, Scot Boyd, said they are taking this very seriously. The association updated a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination this past season.

Boyd walked through the changes in a presentation in March. It includes a slide titled with the n-word ending in an “a.”

The slide reads “UYSA was humiliated this last Summer when 3 of our players were ejected and then suspended for the entirety of Far West Regionals and Regional President’s Cup. DON’T USE IT!”

That slide, and others in the updated policy, include specific guidance to referees on how to respond the moment a complaint is made.

“The problem in the past has been, [that] the arbiter on the field is the referee, with their assistant referees. So if they didn’t hear it, they couldn’t do anything about it,” Boyd said. “We’ve changed that. Now, if a statement is made, you get in touch with the referee, you let the referee know the statement was made. The referee will stop the game.”

Boyd said the referee would then investigate immediately and talk to both coaches.

Confident in this plan, and willing to consider other options 

Boyd is confident in this update but acknowledged that if it doesn’t work, they’re open to creating a multicultural board to investigate incidents of racism at games.

Boyd said the most important thing to him is making sure players are heard.

“Right out of the gate, making sure they understand that, it’s not them, it’s the other person. They’re one hundred percent at fault,” Boyd said. “And we don’t like that behavior, we don’t want that behavior, we don’t need those people there who are going to participate in that behavior.”

Other reading: America has an umpire shortage. Unruly parents aren’t helping

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Box Elder rollover...

Emma Keddington

Police confirm fatal rollover in Box Elder, car was reportedly stolen

The car was found in a ditch off of I-84 in Box Elder County. The victim was ejected from the car in the rollover.

2 hours ago

Smoke is visible on UDOT traffic cameras at the Waste Transfer Station, at 2000 West 200 South, in ...

Simone Seikaly

Large fire at Lindon landfill, cause unknown

Multiple Orem fire agencies responded to a landfill fire in Lindon, Utah on Tuesday afternoon.

2 hours ago

The front of the Holladay Lions salt lake county recreation center...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

The hidden cost of recreation centers

A new report shows that several recreation centers in Utah operate at a deficit in the millions. Part of covering that gap comes via taxes.

3 hours ago

A group of dogs in Roy were intercepted by police after attacking multiple people on Monday....

Curt Gresseth

Three dogs bite two people, close in for attack on horse and cop in Roy

Three dogs that escaped their yard in Roy bit two pedestrians, surrounded to attack both a horse in a pasture and a police officer. The animals were all captured. The victims received medical care.

5 hours ago

2024 wildfire season...

Adam Small

Utah sees busy start to 2024 wildfire season, draws comparison to record-breaking year

The 2024 fire season is underway with 261 wildfires reported so far which is similar to the record breaking 2020 season.

5 hours ago

The Utah Women & Leadership Project, based out of Utah State University in Logan, Utah, reports tha...

Simone Seikaly

Report finds fewer Utah workers experiencing sexual harassment

For the first time in years, the number of sexual harassment reports filed with the EEOC places Utah in line with the national average.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

After 25 cases of racist comments, Utah Youth Soccer is making changes