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 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.
Major League Soccer was well represented at Pride celebrations across the country this past weekend, including the Chicago Fire participating in their city’s annual parade.
Midfielder Brendan King and defender Gonzalo Segares (who was just named the MLS Works Humanitarian of the Month for June) rode the Pepsi float along with mascot Sparky. Members of the Chicago Fire staff and Section 8 supporters group also marched along with the float.
You can check out the Fire’s full Storify of great pictures from the parade at their website.
The Fire also used the parade as an opportunity to let the community know about their next LGBT Pride Night coming up on September 28 against the Montreal Impact:
Coinciding with the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that ushered in the modern gay rights movement, the final weekend of June is filled with the biggest pride celebrations across the country. Soccer teams and fans across America will be a part of it in the biggest ways ever over the next few days.
The Chicago Fire are partnering with team sponsors Pepsi for a float in their city’s Sunday parade along with other team sponsors like Quaker. Defender Gonzalo Segares and midfielder Brendan King will be on the float in addition to team mascot Sparky. Section 8 supporters group members as will Fire staffers who will be tossing Fire swag to the crowd.
The Fire also used this Pride Week in Chicago to announce this year’s LGBT Pride Night at Toyota Park, which will take place September 28 against the Montreal Impact. Once again, a portion of ticket sales will be going toward Equality Illinois’ work.
It’s the first Seattle Pride weekend in awhile with a weekend off for the Seattle Sounders, and supporters group Gorilla FC is taking advantage of the week off by making an appearance at the Sunday parade. Gorilla FC likens themselves to other socially progressive supporters like those of Germany’s FC Saint Pauli who stand up for LGBT and other diverse fans.
The Seattle Reign of the NWSL does have a match this weekend, and they’re making the Saturday match a celebration of pride. It’s also the expected home debut of midfielder Megan Rapinoe after her stint for Lyon in France. The Reign will have a special limited edition t-shirt for sale only at this weekend’s match for the occasion.
And finally, as we’ve noted before, the Houston Dynamo will have a big presence at Pride Houston, running a kids’ activity area with soccer-themed inflatables. The Dynamo Girls will also be in the parade and performing in a pre-parade kickoff show.
Thanks to all of the American soccer teams taking part in this upcoming weekend of pride festivities, and everyone in soccer who has made this a great pride month for our community. Especially with this past week’s historic Supreme Court decisions, it’s going to be an amazing weekend.
Last night Rogers attended the Los Angeles premiere of the film Now You See Me, an upcoming release about magicians who pull off bank robberies. He posted this pre-red carpet picture to his Instagram account.
More news also came out yesterday about the negotiations between the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy over Robbie Rogers’ playing rights. LA Galaxy Confidential reports that the Fire is aiming high right now, asking that Rogers’ rights be traded for Mike Magee, who has come to be known as “Mr. November” for coming through in the clutch for LA scoring key goals at playoffs time. Needless to say, the swap isn’t likely.
Last season the Fire had players appear at a cocktail hour put on by an LGBT rights organization and staffers pied in the face for the cause. But current players Dilly Duka and Paolo Tornaghi both signed on as allies at this same time last year.
Let’s add some players from this team that has shown great support in the past. Use the list below to ask players to join; we’ll keep an eye on our @gay4soccer Twitter handle and #soccerally hashtag for their replies. And if you’re a Fire fan–or fan of any team–and want to sign on you can do that here.
The Chicago City Council votes on a resolution supporting LGBT athletes today, and the Chicago Fire were among those speaking in favor of it at hearings yesterday.
As part of the hearings Dan Lobring, Senior Director of Communications, shared the club’s support of Robbie Rogers, their work with Chicago Pride last year, and the work of the Section 8 supporters group and their diversity tifo last April.
Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire are certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to the goals of the resolution, which calls on the leadership of professional sports leagues to hand down sanctions for use of homophobic language from players. It also calls for commissioners to publicly state support for out athletes, which we have seen Don Garber do several times since Robbie Rogers’ coming out in February.
(Update 1 PM CT)
The resolution supported by the Fire was passed unanimously by the Chicago City Council!
The Chicago Fire are in the midst of their preseason training in Florida, and both put in some work and took some time off at the beach in Naples.
Their intrepid video staff got the good stuff on camera:
(With thanks to the Fire’s Jeff Crandall for sharing.)
While the Chicago Fire was preparing for their 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes this past weekend, two Fire staffers took some pies to the face for LGBT Equality.
Nick Boulton and Adam Green, who are also the contacts for this weekend’s Pride Night, joined Equality Illinois Friday Night for their annual Celebrity Pie Toss event, which took on an Olympics theme this year.
Thank you for your support Nick and Adam!
As part of their new partnership with Equality Illinois, the Chicago Fire have marched in the Chicago Pride Parade, attended their monthly cocktail hour, gotten pies in the face, and now will be holding a Pride Night this upcoming Saturday, August 4.
As part of Pride Night you can get great ticket deals with a portion of the ticket price going to benefit Equality Illinois and Fred Says, an organization supporting HIV-positive youth.
All of the details are at http://www.chicago-fire.com/pride so hope to see everyone in Chicago OUT at Toyota Park Saturday night!