SALT LAKE CITY — Fired Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke issued his first statement since his termination.
Petke tweeted the statement Tuesday, a few days after news broke he had been fired for an altercation involving a referee. Petke had already served a suspension for that altercation.
Petke said it’s true “I lost my temper and showed poor judgment” but said he has already apologized to the league, the team and the official in question.
Petke also appeared to push back against statements calling his actions homophobic.
“Much has already been said about the Spanish word I used and the different interpretations of it,” he wrote. “Regardless of how my actions have been misinterpreted or twisted, I have always respected the rights of all individuals and always will.”
In the statement announcing his firing, RSL noted their commitment to inclusion and respect, saying in part:
“…As an organization, it is vital that everyone, particularly our leadership, reflects and embodies our core values and the values of our community, treating all people with respect, civility and professionalism. Moreover, throughout our 15-year history, we have championed diversity, acceptance and inclusion throughout our organization, our stadiums and our community. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously.”
Petke stated he had hoped to continue as RSL’s coach and said he had recently signed an agreement to continue in that position. He expressed sorrow over the team’s decision to fire him, saying he felt he had upheld his end of the bargain regarding discipline following the altercation.
The full statement is included in the tweet embedded below: