Eighteen NWSL Players Join Athlete Ally as Ambassadors

Sarah Huffman and Meleana Shim speak out as out NWSL athletes as part of the announcement.

NWSL Meleana Shim

Portland's Meleana Shim celebrates her first professional goal in a June shutout against rivals Seattle (oregonlive.com)

Eighteen NWSL players have joined the Athlete Ally program as Ambassadors, representing seven teams across the league, as well as both the US and Canadian National Teams.

The effort to have league players join the anti-homophobia and a anti-transphobia non profit as a group was spearheaded by the Western New York Flash’s Sarah Huffman, who said as part of the statement:

I am proud to be an athlete ally because I dream of a world full of equal opportunities and treatment. I believe that sports are a place where everybody belongs. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation, race, gender have no place in the world Рnevertheless sports. I am excited to be an ally and stand up for people like me in the LGBT community.


Portland Thorns and USA U-23 midfielder Meleana Shim has been an out LGBT advocate since college, and also spoke about signing on with Athlete Ally:

Every aspiring athlete who is questioning his or her sexuality should have positive role models who are proud of who they are.

Here’s the full list of NWSL athletes who have joined Athlete Ally:

  • Liz Bogus, Seattle Reign
  • Marian Dougherty, Portland Thorns and USWNT
  • Ashley Grove, training Player, Western New York Flash
  • Sarah Huffman, Western New York Flash and USWNT
  • Estelle Johnson, Western New York Flash¬†
  • Karina LeBlanc, Portland Thorns and CanWNT
  • Amy LePeilbet, Chicago Red Stars and USWNT
  • Sydney Leroux, Boston Breakers and USWNT
  • Lori Lindsey, Washington Spirit and USWNT
  • Erin McLeod, Chicago Red Stars and CanWNT
  • Heather O’Reilly, Boston Breakers and USWNT
  • Leslie Osborne, Chicago Red Stars and USWNT
  • Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign and USWNT
  • Meleana Shim, Portland Thorns and US U-23s
  • Lydia Vandenbergh, Chicago Red Stars
  • Ashley Walsh, training player, Western New York Flash
  • Abby Wambach, Western New York Flash and USWNT
  • Keelin Winters, Seattle Reign

If you’re counting, there are now 35 pro soccer players involved with Athlete Ally, overwhelming any other sport.

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