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.
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.
One year ago today, our friends at the You Can Play Project got started with their groundbreaking video, “The Faceoff,” telling gay athletes that an ability to play is the only thing that matters on the field, ice, or court.
Over the last twelve months, they have produced videos with that message delivered by other professional hockey players, student athletes, and television broadcasters.
They have also produced videos with teams in Major League Soccer: DC United and Toronto FC, featuring Mike Chabala, Darren O’Dea, Richard Eckersley, Stefan Frei, Torsten Frings, Eric Hassli, Milos Kocic, Paul Mariner, Ben Olsen, Chris Pontius, Thomas Rongen, and Luis Silva.
DC and Baltimore area pro sports have been in the LGBT spotlight for the past week, with local legislator Emmett Burns calling on the Ravens to stifle Brendan Ayanbendejo’s support of gay marriage during a season when the issue is in the ballot there. The Vikings’ Chris Kluwe, whose state also has gay marriage on the ballot this fall, penned a scathing piece on Deadspin about Burns’ comments.
But with George Washington University, the Capitals, and DC United all speaking out for LGBT inclusion in sports through You Can Play in the last few weeks, that’s the focus of the Washington Post piece.
The second DC United Night Out will take place on Saturday, September 15 during their game against the New England Revolution.
It will be a big night with a tailgate, Champions Club drink specials, an after party at Nellies, and many more special features during the game.
The local gay paper, The Washington Blade, previewed the event last month.
The DC United You Can Play video with Ben Olsen, Mike Chabala, and Chris Pontius will be a big feature of the evening:
Tickets are available from UnitedNightOut.com.
Thank you to head coach Ben Olsen, midfielder Chris Pontius, defender Mike Chabala and everyone at DC United.
We are united. We are united in pursuit of championships. We are united in our service to the community. We are united in support of all our teammates, coaches, and fans – gay or straight. All that matters to us is your talent, work ethic, and passion. If you can play, you can play.
The team’s announcement of the video is here.
He’s been a top bachelor in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Major League Soccer’s All Star Game Most Valuable Player. Now DC United midfielder Chris Pontius has been listed as having “Great Hair” in the September 2012 issue of Washingtonian Magazine:
We tend to agree, although not surprised considering how close his hair cutter of choice is to Dupont Circle.
H/T @SoccerInsider on Twitter
Major League Soccer stars have been leading the way when it comes to professional athletes participating in the campaign, so hope to see all of our DC supporters out this weekend.
Who from DC United will be the next to join Mike Chabala, Justin Braun, Michael Lahoud, Chris Wingert, Brian Dunseth, Mike Boxall, Jordan Harvey, and Jay DeMerit as the next member of the MLS family to pose for the NOH8 Campaign? Bill Hamid? Chris Pontius? Danny Cruz? Maybe someone who isn’t yet an ally on our site like Dwayne De Rosario or even Ben Olsen?
Tweet this post to your favorite players to let them know this is coming up!
We’ve focused on a dozen Major League Soccer Teams this month, and player representation on our Allies list has more than doubled since May 1.
DC United has a pair of players on the list right now. Danny Cruz joined via Twitter early last month. His teammate Josh Wolff participated in making an It Gets Better Video last summer:
Who on the team will join Danny and Josh? Use the list below to help us reach out to them and ask them to be a #soccerally.