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Major League Soccer to Go Purple for Spirit Day

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Major League Soccer Spirit DayMajor League Soccer is joining GLAAD in going purple for this year’s Spirit Day on October 19.

Spirit Day is now an annual event to speak out against bullying and show support for LGBT youth through millions of Americans wearing the color purple. It was started in 2010 by high schooler Brittany McMillan who encouraged her friends to wear purple in memory of LGBT youth who have committed suicide. It has since grown to include celebrities, business entities like the New York Stock Exchange, and now sports leagues like Major League Soccer.

The NBA and WNBA are also participating this year. Major League Soccer will feature Spirit day on its social media platforms.

You can take the pledge to participate in this year’s Spirit Day at the GLAAD website.

Now maybe MLS clubs can wear purple armbands that weekend too…

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David Testo Throws Out First Pitch at Blue Jays Game

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David Testo Yunel EscobarDavid Testo threw out the first pitch at Thursday night’s Toronto Blue Jays game, the first home appearance of Yunel Escobar after a suspension for homophobic messages on his eye black.

Escobar displayed the message “Tu ere maricon” and was suspended for three games, and was given a $82,000 fine that was donated to GLAAD and the You Can Play Project. Prior to his return to his home field, he met with out distance runner Jose Estevez, along with You Can Play Founder Patrick Burke.

Testo threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game to shortstop Escobar.

David Testo is also the subject of a long form profile featured on SBNation Friday.

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David Testo Goes In Depth with SBNation

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David TestoOut soccer player David Testo sat down with Leander Schaerlaeckens for an immensely comprehensive profile for SBNation.com. It’s part of a new emphasis on long-form sports writing as part of the site’s new look.

Scaerlaeckens spent three days in Montreal with Testo to get rare insight into the life of the first former Major League Soccer player to come out of the closet.

It’s an amazing read that you can check out at SBNation, but here are the points that stood out for me:

  • David Testo struggled growing up gay in an area where he was taught being gay is an abomination, at times going to extreme lengths to hide who he was.
  • He details his relationship with MTV reality star Shane Landrum, and getting caught by fellow college athletes with him.
  • Perhaps the most candid parts are about his life as a pro player, falling for teammates, masking his sexuality, and self-medicating with alcohol.
It really is an immensely in-depth long form piece that I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of here. It’s more than well worth a read at SBNation.
 

World Cup 2018 Host Cities Ban “Homosexual Propoganda”

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World Cup host cities presented to Sepp BlatterFIFA continues to turn a blind eye to LGBT rights as a trio of 2018 World Cup host cities submitted by Russia’s Local Organizing Committee today have laws on the books banning “homosexual propoganda.”

The following cities are in regions that ban such “propoganda” and can impose sanctions or fines for violations:

  • Saint Petersburg (enacted 3/30/12)
  • Sochi (governed by Krasnodar Krai, enacted 7/19/12)
  • Krasnodar (governed by Krasnodar Krai, enacted 7/19/12)

These aren’t archaic laws on the books that no one pays attention to. As you can see, they were enacted recently, and are put to use. Just last month Madonna was sued under the law for the equivalent of $10.5 million for speaking out for gay rights at a Saint Petersburg concert appearance. After successes in Vancouver and London, the 2014 Winter Olympics won’t have a Pride House because of the laws in Sochi’s region (the IOC also doing little to nothing to stand up for gay rights).

Saint Petersburg’s law is also the model for a similar bill before the national parliament in Russia.

Keep up the great work FIFA–we look forward to two upcoming World Cup countries that are terrible for gay rights.

 

 

Colorado Couple Ties the Knot at Liverpool Stadium

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Liverpool Wedding Liverpool FC history was made as Colorado couple Sarah McKnight and Christina Walls were the first pair to have a civil partnership ceremony at Anfield.

Longtime fans of the Reds and members of the team’s supporters group in Colorado, McKnight and Walls flew to the United Kingdom for their dream destination wedding, complete with a stadium tour.

Liverpool’s social inclusion officer Rishi Jain (how cool is it for a team to have a “social inclusion officer?) said:

It’s a big step for the club. We have always been proud of the work we do regarding inclusion and diversity, and to have the first civil partnership with such a lovely couple is really good.

This is not the first LGBT first for Liverpool, also the first EPL club to participate in UK Pride. You can check out all of their pictures of the ceremony at the club’s website.

 

Freddie Ljungberg: Opposing Players Called Me Gay

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Former Sounders and Fire designated player Freddie Ljungberg attained quite a gay following due to his years of stripping down to his tighty whiteys for one of Calvin Klein’s most successful ad campaigns.

In an interview with CNN International this weekend, he was asked his opinion of what was wrong with the sport of soccer, and he cited racism and other bullying, saying that opposing players would call him gay.

During his career, opposing fans would also belt out Village People tunes to mock Ljungberg.

Don’t remember the Calvin Klein ad campaign? Gratuitous Freddie Ljungberg picture after the jump.

read more…

Pia Sundhage’s Final Farewell

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YouTube user heyyrebeccasuee was at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Wednesday night and captured the entire farewell to Pia Sundhage on camera.

The video, the singing, the victory lap. Go ahead, watch it and just try not to cry. You will fail.

Sarah Walsh’s Final International Goal

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It was a good combination last night as the USA played Australia: Pia Sundhage’s final match as USA coach was a win, but Sarah Walsh was able to score in her final international appearance.

Best wishes for the future Sarah and we look forward to seeing you cheer on Megan in many games to come.

Pia Sundhage Receives Farewell Guitar, Sings Elvis

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The US Women’s National Team had a special public farewell to departing coach Pia Sundhage this past Sunday at the Home Depot Center following their victory over Australia.

Christie Rampone and the rest of the team gave Sundhage a Taylor guitar, signed in gold Sharpie by all of the players. Naturally, she put it to use right away, serenading the crowd with a bit of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”

Pia Sundhage is an avid music lover whose impromptu serenades are now quite famous. She sang Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” at the Olympic gold medal match and Simon and Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song” at a World Cup press conference last summer.

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Major League Soccer Launches ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ Anti-Discrimination Campaign

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Major League Soccer’s All Stars came together to star in a new video called “Don’t Cross the Line” to combat discrimination and harassment.

Landon Donovan, Kyle Beckerman, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Carlos Valdes, Graham Zusi all feature in the video aimed at combating homophobia, racism, and sexism.

read more…

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