REAL SALT LAKE

Mike Petke Supports His Players’ Right To Express Political Views

May 22, 2019, 3:07 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke sat down with host Brian Dunseth for the Mike Petke Coaches Show to discuss the world surrounded by social media and how he handles political views in his locker room.

Petke uses Twitter as his only social media account and is active. Working in the professional sports realm, Petke has his own personal opinions about other things besides sports, but when it comes to politics, he keeps them to himself.

Being the head coach of a professional team, he is challenged with handling the different personalities and personal views of his players. But Petke makes it known that he supports his players’ views regardless of opinion as long as they understand the reason behind it.

“This might be my first political statement,” he said. “The Colin Kaepernick thing. I had a stance as far as how I felt is that I didn’t agree with that. But, on the other hand, I didn’t agree with how it was done, I agree with what they were trying to do. I had some players come to me and were thinking about perhaps taking a stance during the national anthem.”

Pekte makes it known that it isn’t the way he would do it but still provides support.

“My response was ‘I am behind you 100 percent, just make sure that you understand why you are doing it that you believe in it because this is going to come down and I will stand behind you because that is your freedom.'” Petke stated.

The RSL boss still has to deal with things that are posted on social media by his players.

“It doesn’t come up very often with me,” Petke said. “I am not an expert on how to handle social media, but I have my opinion on what I would do and how I handle it. There has been a few moments as far as social media where I have had discussions with my players. But I don’t want to take away someones voice.”

Stick To Sports

Both Dunseth and Petke deal with people on social media who react when they tweet about things other than sports or soccer. But the guys like the way the coaches show is formatted in that they don’t talk about the x’s and o’s of soccer, which goes outside of their “lane.”

“People look at a professional sports coach and doing a coaches show should be x’s and o’s,” Dunseth said. “That is the exact opposite of what we have ever wanted to do.”

Going against who he is, Petke is careful with what he says on social media.

“I am more on the social issues,” the RSL head coach said. “When we talk about political issues, why shouldn’t I say my political views?”

He keeps his political views private because there could be a protest at the next RSL game and he doesn’t want to put his family in danger.

Up Next

Real Salt Lake will host Atlanta United on Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match will begin at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app. That is also where you can watch every episode of the Mike Petke Coaches Show.

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