Chris Seitz, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Omar Gonzalez have joined the Athlete Ally program, aimed at encouraging and welcoming LGBT participation in sports.Read more
Grant Wahl conducted a survey of MLS players and found that an overwhelming majority said a gay soccer player would be accepted in their locker room.Read more
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.
Bryant University in Smithfeld, Rhode Island is the first school in the Northeast Conference to make a video for our friends at the You Can Play Project.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer team at Bryant are represented, with defender Ryan Stone and midfielder Regan Marin appearing to spread the message that one’s sexual orientation does not matter when it comes to participation in sports. If you can play, you can play.
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.
Two days into our May recruitment push for our Allies List and we already have five new players signed on so let’s keep up that great pace with the Colorado Rapids.
As with our other teams so far this week the Rapids are represented by only one player on the list, and that’s only by way of an offseason trade: Nathan Sturgis whom they acquired from Houston in December.
So let’s push for another good day today. We’ll keep an eye on our @gay4soccer mentions and the #soccerally hashtag for players up for joining. And there is midweek action tonight so if you’re in a place where you meet up with a player you can ask them in person.
Here’s the list of players from the Colorado Rapids on Twitter:
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!
After a successful first day with the Montreal Impact our month-long push to add professional soccer players to our Allies List, we continue with Chivas USA.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is currently the only Chivas player on our list. And as the face welcoming LGBT fans to the team’s pride night a few years ago he was one of the first players we included. Montreal increased from one to four yesterday. Can Chivas USA do the same?
Players can tweet at our @gay4soccer handle or use the #soccerally hashtag for inclusion on the list. You can also check out this post for our new way to ask players from any team, any league to join in person. And fans can join now as well using this web form.
But now onto the Chivas.
An officially recognized supporters group of the Houston Dynamo is tweeting homophobic slurs without apology.
Don’t want these words on the main page of the site, so images of the offending tweets after the jump.
Updates from the Dynamo, an apology from the group, and details on a conversation I had with the group’s leadership are all also after the jump.
Our team by team recruitment drive for professional soccer players to join our Allies List begins today with the Montreal Impact.
This is our second time spending May going team by team through Major League Soccer asking players to sign on as allies of the LGBT community. You can also ask players of any team, any league to join in person to grab those who aren’t on social media. And of course, you can join yourself.
Defender Jeb Brovsky was the only player we added from the Montreal Impact last may, and ally Justin Braun was traded to Salt Lake and now Toronto leaving Brovsky the only ally on our list.
So let’s get the month started off in a big way; Montreal certainly has a big enough list of players on Twitter. We’ll be asking and so can you. Just have players tweet their support using our @gay4soccer handle or the #soccerally hashtag. We’ll be keeping an eye on both.
Here we go!
I hate Star Wars Day.
Well, not really. If you’re a fan of something and want to celebrate it, bully for you. Towel Day, Fish Fingers and Custard Day, Star Wars Day–if someone comes up with a day to celebrate your sci-fi proclivities, have at it. My problem is Major League Soccer latching on to one of these such days and jamming down our throats for a few weeks of the season. (At least The Doctor likes his footie.)
It’s gimmicky. It reminds us of the days when the Kansas City Wizards danced around to Austin Powers music and the league overly catered to the suburban family who might be out looking for a super-fun day rather than celebrating the game that is being played and the fans that enjoy the match for the match. Nonsense like that Austin Powers video is one of the reasons I was a soccer-hater for so many years.
And will Star Wars Day help grow the game? No, probably not. Is there some Star Wars fan thinking, “Well I’ve never been to PPL Park before, but I heard it’s Star Wars Day so I’ll give it a try?” No. Is there someone pondering, “I’ve never watched soccer on TV before but I’ll tune into NBC Sports Network because I bet Kyle Martino has some killer Chewbacca jokes?” No.
It’s also a bit more than frustrating that Star Wars Day (which won’t grow the game) is this heavy handed league-wide thing and proper LGBT Pride Nights (which will grow the game) are sparse. I know of one on the schedule so far this upcoming season. (By the way, Houston front office, you rock.) Proper LGBT Pride Nights will grow the game by welcoming a group into our stadia that often feels excluded as both participants and spectators for so many reasons from athletics in this country. And yet they are not yet a priority for this league.
Now Major League Soccer, how about you put down your light sabres and work on things that will actually help grow the game in this country. Not having nationally broadcast matches that run until 1 AM Monday morning would be a swell start.