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.
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.
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.
The Fire is partnering this year with both Equality Illinois and the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association, the largest non profit gay and lesbian athletics organization in the Midwest. Together they’re putting together quite a night. Beyond a discounted rate, tickets also get admission to a pregame tailgate and concert featuring Chicago recording artists Isaiah Grass and Jess Godwin. Grass has been recognized by Best Gay Chicago and Godwin’s lyrics tackle issues such as bullying so it’s great that they’re part of the night. And if you’re worried about getting out to Bridgeview, twelve dollars more gets you transportation to and from Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood.
Best of all, the Chicago Fire is once again donating a portion of each ticket’s cost to Equality Illinois, explicitly stating that the team is behind the fight for marriage equality. Wow.
Roma seemed out to prove anyone who thought they would come in and treat this like a preseason match they could sit back in wrong. They came out hard in the first half with an early goal and a few more close calls that stymied the MLS defense. MLS possession fell and fell throughout the half but they were able to hold Roma to a 1-0 lead when the first 45 came to a close.
Things didn’t improve in the second half with another quick Roma goal, an another one they easily slipped in at the 69th minute. MLS took more chances, but things were easily defended by the Italian team. Nick Rimando was the second half goalkeeper, and the skills we saw throughout the Gold Cup were on display keeping the Roma score from rising even further. Another bright spot in the second half was the injection of MLS youth into the game, with some bright moments from the All Stars’ youngest players DeAndre Yedlin and Jack McInerney. MLS had a final gasp in second half stoppage time with Omar Gonzalez scoring off of a free kick making the final score AS Roma 3 – MLS All Stars 1.
Beyond the loss, the message echoed in the post game press conference is what makes All Star Game week so special. It goes far past the game to players who are normally competitors sharing time together as teammates. It’s about a great soccer city like Kansas City showing off what they can put together. And it’s about all of us who are part of the Major League Soccer family coming together to celebrate the sport we love and where it has come in America over the last 17 years.
The campaign’s first video was produced with the 2012 All Stars while in Philadelphia and it premiered later in the season. This season started off with a new video, and the message prominently appears throughout Kansas City, at the press conference, at fan events, and at the game itself tonight.
Portland’s Will Johnson, Kansas City’s Graham Zusi, Chicago’s Mike Magee, and Kansas City Coach Peter Vermes all spoke about why “Don’t Cross the Line” is such an important message to them and to the league:
Marc Burch is not a dickhead.
Robbie Rogers is on the August cover of Out Magazine for an issue focused on sports. It’s quite a good interview done by who is probably the best writer at Here Media, who publishes both Out and The Advocate. It covers his playing, his coming out, and his personal life with a balance you don’t often see from gay media outlets. I haven’t yet mentioned the Out Magazine interview on this site, and this will be the only time I mention it.
I’m not going to mention Out Magazine and their otherwise good interview with Robbie Rogers because the magazine has also published an online slideshow called the “21 Biggest Dickheads in Sports: 2013 Edition.” Seattle’s Marc Burch and San Jose’s Alan Gordon both appear on the list along with athletes from basketball, ultimate fighting, hockey, gridiron football, and baseball.
The socially conscious hip hop artists have already been given the BET Award for Best Group and their chart topping hit “Thrift Shop” won the Billboard Music Award for Rap Song of the Year.
Macklemore has been an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community. The Seattle native recorded his song “Same Love” during the campaign for Washington state’s Referendum 74, that allowed same sex marriage after it was passed last November. “Same Love” was also featured in YouTube’s Pride Month video along with a woman proposing marriage to her partner at a Macklemore show.
Macklemore also is the first recording artist to make a video for the You Can Play Project supporting LGBT athletes, and in his video, performers.
If you’re not in Kansas City, the event will also be streamed at MLSSoccer.com.
Major League Soccer announced today that their All Star Game opponents AS Roma will be picking up the mantle of the “Don’t Cross the Line” campaign, and that the initiative will be featured heavily in Kansas City at the end of the month.
Don’t Cross the Line kicked off with an anti-discrimination video produced at last year’s All Star Game in Philadelphia. Roma will produce a public service announcement of their own under the theme, taking a lead in Serie A on the issue. ”We are proud to take a part in the ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ program alongside Major League Soccer. AS Roma will always be committed to campaigns whose objectives are to reach out to the world of sport on social themes such as the fight against racism and any form of discrimination,” AS Roma President James Pallotta told MLSSoccer.com.