Landon Donovan did a chat with Huffington Post Live while in New York yesterday, and one of the questions raised was about LGBT issues in soccer.
Among issues surrounding gay soccer players in general, he talked about Robbie Rogers’ time training with the LA Galaxy:
Robbie’s a friend of mine and it’s very nice to have him there. To be honest it’s been sort of seamless, it’s normal. After the first few days there was probably some hesitation and [being] careful what you say or what you do but again we’re all human and he’s just like all of us and it’s been really nice.
In almost two weeks we have gained 27 members of our Allies List, and we hit the midway point of our month with the New York Red Bulls.
Four current Red Bulls players joined the list at this time last year: Connor Lade, Dax McCarty, Heath Pearce, and Jonny Steele. Let’s add to the list today by asking their teammates below to join. If they tweet at @gay4soccer or use the #soccerally hashtag we’ll see their replies. Also, with action in so many leagues this weekend, ask your favorite players in person when you can.
At the time I write this, only one new player has signed on as an ally from Sporting Kansas City, yesterday’s team. Let’s turn things around with DC United.
DC United was the first team in Major League Soccer to make a You Can Play video, featuring coach Ben Olsen, current Dynamo defender Mike Chabala, and Chris Pontius. Pontius, Bill Hamid, and Ethan White all signed onto our Allies List last season, as did the recently retired Robbie Russell.
There are plenty of other great guys at DC though, so let’s ask the players below to join the list. We’ll watch the #soccerally hashtag and mentions to our @gay4soccer handle on Twitter.
Portland Thorns and US Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan spoke with ESPN last week, and one of the topics was gay athletes:
On Robbie Rogers:
I remember watching Robbie in person at Columbus and he always caught my eye because he’s so fast. He’s quick. He’s a great soccer player. And I think that the US really needs someone who feels comfortable in their own skin and he is openly gay and he has semi come out of retirement right now training with Galaxy. So I hope he continues to feel comfortable and a team picks him up that he wants to play for. It looks good so far but all the best to Robbie.
Sporting Kansas City was the biggest success last year during our May ally recruitment drive. Could today be another boon as we ask players to join?
Last year was great, but players leave a team for a number of reasons. Sporting only has three allies remaining who all joined during last year’s push: Kevin Ellis, Jon Kempin, and Jimmy Nielsen.
Last year six Sporting players joined, more than any day yet this year. Help match that number this year by helping reach out to the players below. We’ll check our @gay4soccer handle and #soccerally hashtag for responses. And with matches tonight, don’t forget to also ask players in person when you can.
The Allies List has crossed the one hundred mark for Major League Soccer players represented and now it’s time for the San Jose Earthquakes to add to the ranks.
The Quakes have just been through a time of learning over the past few weeks following Alan Gordon’s use of a homophobic slur on the field, but the team already has a few allies. Mike Fucito took part in a Seattle-wide It Gets Better video while with the Sounders. Sam Garza and Dan Gargan both joined the list last season, and Dan Gargan represented the Chicago Fire last summer at an event for Equality Illinois.
Let’s get some Quakes to join this trio. Use the list below to ask players on Twitter to become allies by tweeting to us at @gay4soccer or with the #soccerally hashtag.
The Timbers Army led their fellow Portland Timbers fans in an anti-homophobia display prior to the team’s 3-0 victory over Chivas USA Sunday.
Anne Peterson of the Associated Press captured the display on video and posted it to YouTube:
It’s just the first of a bunch of displays like this we’ll be seeing over the next few weeks as supporters groups across Major League Soccer mark the International Day Against Homophobia coming up this Friday, May 17. Keep an eye on the stands across the League!
Several more images of the display coming up after the jump.
Robbie Rogers posed for the NOH8 Campaign last month while visiting New York City, and he and the campaign released the resulting photograph over the weekend:
The NOH8 Campaign originally started as a silent protest to the passage of Proposition 8 in California reversing gay marriage legislation in the state. It has since grown to stand for human equality in marriage and beyond.
If you like this photo of Robbie Rogers, you can order it (as well as those from current MLS-ers like Jay DeMerit) at their website to help support the campaign.
Another way to support them is by participating in one of their open photo shoots. Their next one in the United States is at the W Hotel in Boston on June 1. The shoot is from 3 to 7 PM and it’s great scheduling because the Revolution home match that weekend is on Sunday the 2nd. Also for this Boston event proceeds will not only benefit the NOH8 campaign, but also the One Fund set up to assist those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings and their families. You can get all of the details here.
With 17 new players signing on, last week was an amazing start to our team by team recruitment drive for our Allies List. Can the LA Galaxy keep up the pace?
The Galaxy have a trio of players on the list right now with Colin Clark and A.J. DeLaGarza both signing on at this time of year. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez both also work with Athlete Ally through its Ambassadors program.
How many players from the team who has welcomed Robbie Rogers to their practice field will join them? Help us by asking the players on the list below. We’ll keep an eye on our @gay4soccer handle and #soccerally hashtag for replies. You can also sign on as a fan by signing onto our statement of support on our Fan Allies page.
We wrap up the first week of our may ally recruitment with another team with a pair already on the list, FC Dallas.
Goalkeeper Chris Seitz joined the list last year, but the college teammate of Robbie Rogers also joined Athlete Ally as an ambassador earlier this year. We added Eric Hassli to the list after his participation with many players from Toronto FC in the You Can Play Project last season.
Who will join this pair? Help us in asking the players to join the Allies List by tweeting us at @gay4soccer or using the #soccerallly hashtag. There are plenty of MLS, NWSL, NASL, and USL matches this weekend as well so if you’re in a spot where you may meet a player you can also make an in-person ask.