A bombshell report from the folks over at The RSL Show dropped some substantial, troubling news: They’re reporting that Real Salt Lake forward Sam Johnson has been hosting large house parties in recent weeks.
That is reported to include an Oct. 3 party in which an estimated 100 guests were in attendance, and in which there was a shooting incident.
According to the report, the incident is under investigation by Major League Soccer, and Johnson is barred from engaging in team activity.
Sam Johnson, #RSL DP/FW is reported to have been holding house parties at his West Jordan home. Sources indicate that this article refers to an incident in which shots were fired during a party with more than 100 guests in attendance.https://t.co/cO0QlGvty7— The RSL Show (@rslshow) October 12, 2020
UPDATE: The investigation was confirmed by The Athletic reporter Sam Stejskal. He reported that parties took place on Oct. 4 and Oct. 7, both in advance of RSL matches, and that Real Salt Lake only learned of the parties on Oct. 8.
(A previous version of this update somehow misidentified Stejskal as Johnson. It’s been a day.)
RSL's Sam Johnson is being investigated for allegedly hosting house parties.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) October 12, 2020
Sources: Johnson held parties ahead of RSL's matches vs LAFC on 10/4 and at SEA on 10/7. He played in both games. RSL learned of alleged parties on 10/8. Johnson tested negative for COVID-19 throughout. https://t.co/mSocMoatCL
@realsaltlake has commented: The team and League are aware of the incident and are currently conducting an investigation. In accordance with health and safety protocols, the player is prohibited from engaging in any team related activity."— The RSL Show (@rslshow) October 12, 2020
@realsaltlake cont'd:— The RSL Show (@rslshow) October 12, 2020
"We will have no further comment until the conclusion of the League’s investigation."
In research conducted independently, we were not able to confirm that the shooting took place at Johnson’s residence.
Public records from the state county assessor’s office show that the reported shooting took place on the same block as Johnson’s residence. Photos of police vehicles at the incident site match closely with public photos from Google Maps of Johnson’s residence.
This certainly explains Johnson’s absence after the last match, though one does why he started in a match just days after the incident.