Controversial Flemmings Ready For Revival With New USL Club

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Junior Flemmings, the Jamaican international,  has bounced back from his disappointment of being released from Phoenix Rising FC by penning a 12-month contract for fellow United Soccer League (USL) side Birmingham Legion FC.

The controversial Kingston-born attacking midfielder joins the Alabama-based club on a one-year deal following two seasons with Phoenix Rising FC, having helped them lift the 2019 USL Championship regular season title.

The former Tivoli Gardens ace scored 31 times and amassed a dozen goal assists in his 45 appearances for the Arizona team. But the USL Championship’s 2020 Golden Boot winner found himself in the middle of a contentious storm last year, when he was accused of using a homophobic term during a USL match in September.

  

Flemmings was handed a six-game suspension following investigations about his alleged slur towards openly gay opponent Collin Martin, during the Phoenix Rising FC’s contest against San Diego Loyal.

So the 24-year-old will not be involved in his new team’s opening two matches of the 2021 campaign as he completed his USL-mandated suspension.

He immediately disputed hurling a homophobic slur at midfielder Martin following confusion surrounding surrounding the referee’s red card to the player. Yet the allegation prompted the San Diego Loyal team to walk off the pitch at the start of the second half in protest, despite leading 3-1.

Flemmings was swift to defend himself on the social media platform of Twitter by revealing: “At no point did I say a homophobic slur towards Collin Martin. I respect all of my opponents equally. I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ movement.”
 
He has been straight onto his new club’s website in order to put the record straight by revealing: “I’m very sorry about the incident with Collin Martin. I understand the impact words have, and I will work hard to improve my on-field demeanour.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity as I believe Birmingham Legion FC is a great place for me to grow both on and off the field. I’m excited to be a part of their strong locker room culture.”

Flemmings, who has made 10 appearances for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz since 2017, remains firmly in the plans of head coach Theodore Whitmore who is busy preparing to tackle the delayed 2022 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Screenshot via Youtube

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