It was great to experience the final first-hand for the first time and to share some of the moments with you as we launched a new YouTube Channel. If you missed any of the moments over the weekend here are the compilation videos we shared created using Google’s Auto Awesome video program.
MLS and Sporting KC put on a World Cup Draw watch event at Sporting Park’s Members Club. It was great to watch the draw with a few National Team players in attendance to see their instant reactions and hang out with local fans.
Abby Wambach has been named number five on ESPNW’s year-end “Impact 10″ list of female athletes.
Wambach was a natural pick for the list with her record-breaking year as she passed Mia Hamm for the greatest number of international goals scored by any player. ESPNW also cites her leading the Western New York Flash to a NWSL championship match in her hometown, where they lost to the Portland Thorns whose Alex Morgan was named as number ten on the list.
You can still vote in the fan version of the poll at the ESPNW website.
Now ESPN, can we now discuss how there could possibly be four bigger athletes than Abby Wambach in 2013? Boo.
Robbie Rogers made the list as Out Magazine revealed their first 15 entries to their annual Out100 of notable personalities in the LGBT community.
It marks the first time a soccer star has been named to this list selected by both magazine editors and readers.
Rogers is joined in the first batch of honorees by WNBA star Brittney Griner, Orange is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox, and the legendary George Takei. Here’s hoping he’s not the only member of our soccer family on the list when the full 100 is revealed.
Rogers and the LA Galaxy hold a 1-0 lead over Real Salt Lake in the MLS Western Conference Semifinals. Leg 2 from Sandy, Utah is tonight at 9 PM ET on ESPN2.
There’s more from Robbie Rogers’ Out Magazine photo shoot at their website.
The You Can Play Project is launching an initiative with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and MLS’ Colorado Rapids are among the pro teams who have signed on to participate.
You Can Play, Colorado! is a program to encourage inclusion in high school athletics and other extracurricular activities, especially among LGBT youth. Many Colorado sports teams will be represented in the program including the Rapids, NHL’s Avalanche, and NBA’s Nuggets. The Avalanche will be the first with a video out in support of the program early next month. Students from across the state will also be able to create videos supporting diversity for the project as part of a contest.
You Can Play executive director Wade Davis graduated from high school in Colorado, and had this to say in their release about the new program:
Ending discrimination of any kind in sports has always been the mission of You Can Play. In working with CHSAA, it became clear that You Can Play’s original mission of changing the culture of locker rooms extends to anywhere students rely on teammates, whether that’s a locker room, on a debate or chess team, or in school bands or plays.
Hopefully You Can Play, Colorado! will serve as a great example for what professional teams and organizations across the country can do together to work towards inclusion at all levels of sports.
Oregon United for Marriage along with other groups are currently in the process of collecting the voter signatures needed to put marriage equality on the November 2014 ballot.
The Timbers and Thorns organization announced the endorsement with a statement from owner Merritt Paulson: “We are proud to support Oregon United for Marriage and its efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all Oregonians next November.” They also released the following video on the Oregon United for Marriage YouTube page:
The Chicago Fire currently work with Equality Illinois, who are working through the legislature for marriage equality. Adidas America joined with Oregon United for Marriage this week as well.
You can sign onto a message thanking the Timbers, Thorns, and NBA’s Trailblazers on the Oregon United for Marriage website.
The US Olympic Committee (USOC) announced Friday that its board voted to add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.
The USOC was under a great deal of pressure from both athletes and lawmakers to protect gay and lesbian athletes ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where laws are in place that punish what is viewed as pro-gay propaganda. The amended bylaw reads:
The USOC is committed to honesty and integrity as the cornerstone of our activities. In turn, the USOC expects you to conduct yourself in an ethical and legal manner as a representative of the USOC. This requires you to:
* Respect the rights of all individuals to fair treatment and equal opportunity, free from discrimination or harassment of any type, including, without limitation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or otherwise.
While openly stating opposition to the law, the USOC states that they will not advocate for its changing. They are inquiring with the International Olympic Committee about how IOC rules against political speech affect athletes who have already been vocal about the laws in place in Russia. The IOC does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its non-discrimination policies.
Gay and lesbian soccer players from Robbie Rogers to Tasha Kai and from Megan Rapinoe to Abby Wambach have represented the United States at the past few Olympic games.
Abby Wambach and Sarah Huffman got married in a ceremony in Hawaii this past weekend, multiple sources such as TMZ are now reporting.
Ok, for many of this isn’t news. We’ve known this was happening for awhile now. Heck, I did a Google search back in July when Huffman publicly came out while signing on with Athlete Ally that resulted in their online wedding registry.
(My personal favorite item? The bottle opener in the shape of a bulldog’s head.)
We were waiting until one of them said something about the wedding until we did. We wanted to respect what they clearly wanted to be a private affair. But news of the ceremony has been coming out (as it were) for days now, and we can’t help but share in their joy and wish them the best.
Now media outlets across the globe are picking up the story from TMZ and spreading the news of what is likely the soccer wedding of the year (sorry Jay and Ashleigh).
So congratulations to Abby and Sarah. May your married life together be happy and blessed.
Update: On behalf of Sarah and herself, Abby thanked fans Wednesday afternoon:
Sarah and I wanted to thank everyone for all the love and support. We couldn't be happier. What an amazing week it's been. #honeymoon
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) October 9, 2013
Local musicians featured heavily in the evening, both performing at a special pregame concert and singing the national anthems for the crowd at Toyota Park and watching on the MLS Stream of the Week.
Singer and actress Jess Godwin was tapped with singing “O Canada.” Her latest music video addresses bullying and using the arts as an outlet for social issues.
Isaiah Grass, named to a list of the “Best of Gay Chicago” in 2011, took on the “Star Spangled Banner”
Kudos to the Chicago Fire for putting on another great Pride Night, with proceeds benefitting Equality Illinois’ fight for marriage equality!
The Fire trounced DC United 3-0 on the road this past weekend.
The soccer programs from each school is represented in the two videos, along with a myriad of other sports programs.
Brown and Dartmouth are two of our nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning, and it’s great to see their student athletes taking a stand on and off the field as they lead the way in the Ivy League.
Here’s the video from Dartmouth released early in September:
And here’s Brown’s video that came out just last week:
Here’s to many more great You Can Play videos from collegiate and pro teams in the coming year!
For the fourth consecutive year, DC United is holding its annual “United Night Out” this Saturday night for their match against the LA Galaxy.
Working with the Federal Triangles Soccer Club, a portion of the Night Out ticket sales will go to support the work of the You Can Play Project. Beyond the match itself, the night will feature a tailgate, the DC Gay Men’s Chorus performing the National Anthem, and the ceremonial coin toss being done by the publisher of the city’s gay newspaper The Blade.
DC along with Chivas USA were the first MLS clubs to hold LGBT Pride Nights back in 2010, and DC has had other firsts reaching out to the community, including being the first MLS team to make a video for You Can Play. They’ve participated in DC Pride for the last five years with the Federal Triangles, and last year won the Team DC Community Partner of the Year Award for all of the work they have done.
DC United was one of many area sports teams featured in the Blade’s recent sports issue, with Chris Pontius saying that if there was an out player “we would accept a person for who they are. As a player you accept them as they are as a player.”
You can get tickets for United Night Out at unitednightout.com.