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!
Last week we brought you the news of the Chicago Fire partnering with Equality Illinois on a number of events all summer long.
The first event as part of the partnership was a Chicago Fire presence at Equality Illinois’ July First Friday cocktail party on the 6th. Goalkeeper Jay Nolly and defender Dan Gargan, both members of our Allies list, represented the team at the event.
Nolly and Gargan with Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov — plus an “I do” tshirt! (Rachel Crosby, Equality Illinois)
In what is being hailed as the Midwest’s first formal partnership between a pro sports franchise and an LGBT-rights group, the Chicago Fire is teaming up with Equality Illinois for a number of events over the summer.
The first sign of the new partnership was on June 24, when members of the Fire staff marched along with Equality Illinois and their marriage equality float in the city’s Pride Parade:
The first-of-its-kind partnership was formally announced July 5. Other Chicago teams have donated items or held LGBT theme nights, but there has never been a pairing like this between a team and an organization.
So far this month we’re averaging just about three new allies a day from Major League Soccer clubs. It’s an amazing growth and a great lead up to June when we’ll give everyone an opportunity to recruit allies in an all new way.
Will the Chicago Fire help us keep up the pace? Goalkeeper Jay Nolly became a list member last week when he volunteered a pretty awesome Tweet:
— Jay Nolly (@JayNolly) May 1, 2012
Thank you Jay!
So help us light a fire under some of Jay’s teammates and get them to join him on the #soccerally list. We’ll keep an eye out for that hash tag and tweets to us all day.
In the first match for Houston since the Colin Clark incident, Section 8 Chicago unfurled an amazing tifo declaring “Our City – Our Club – Our Diversity – Our Strength”:
The game was called off in the 61st minute due to weather, and you can see the toll the storms took on the tifo.
Huge kudos to Section 8 for standing up for diversity with such an amazing display.
There’s an odd undercurrent in MLS, a background noise. There’s nothing insidious about it, just curious. What do I mean?
Historically, MLS sponsors have been weird and, I’d say, obscure for the most part. Every time I introduce friends to watching MLS games I have to field questions like “What the hell is Herbalife/Xango?” or incredulous statements like “Amway? Seriously?” (Fortunately, that particular pyramid scheme is gone). I have to explain that the New York Red Bulls are actually in New Jersey and that Red Bull is the sponsor not so much the team name and that they own several sporting teams. I have to sigh and say, “Yes, Pizza Hut owns the naming rights” or explain how I don’t care who the sponsor is we’re not drinking any beer that looks like urine.
Which is why I kinda like that this season there are a few throwback sponsors, a sort of old-timey commerce. My own Chicago Fire has taken the Wilford Brimley route with their kit sponsor Quaker ; you can’t get much more curmudgeon-y than that. Given the make-over that Quaker is trying to give its mascot, this may be part of a larger scheme to make oats hip to ‘the young people.’ Not to be outdone, Chicago rivals, the Columbus Crew, threw the anachronistic Barbasol on the table as their raise. Barbasol…it’s a product that I didn’t think still existed or only existed in the handful of Ben Franklin five & dime stores that barely continue to exist in far-flung corners of the American Heartland (take note Philadelphia for future sponsorship). But it’s not just kit sponsorship, MLS itself gives its weekly ten performers’ list to Castrol, that motor oil that your dad & grandpa always had half a can of in the garage .
What we have here is a fantasy of masculinity, one that eats heartily, works on machines, and then goes to clean up by shaving ‘like a man.’ I can almost see the sepia super-8 movie reel of a young son looking admiringly at all the things his father is doing. Soccer in America still has to put up with a lot. Most recently, meat-head CEO Dana White gave voice to the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging masses. So I can see why MLS might be trying to coax this subtle image. I can also see a room full of suits determined to mine the hipster market with its love of retro-kitsch. Whatever it may be, I can chuckle good-naturedly with my new MLS loving friends about it. The fact is, nostalgia is queer and I like it.