Detroit City FC will be kicking off Motor City Pride with a Friday night match that will be supporting the LGBT community both nationally and locally.
Detroit City is partnering with the You Can Play Project on the match in which the players will be wearing special kits just for the occasion. It very well could be the first time in the United States a sports team’s uniforms have been dedicated to the cause.
The match day uniforms will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds benefiting the Ruth Ellis Center, a local residential facility specializing in at-risk LGBTQ youth who have run away from home, are homeless, or otherwise at risk. Jerseys with the Pride Night design will also be available for purchase on the team’s website also to benefit the REC.
The club has already said that the match against the Erie Admirals has ticket sales that are already outpacing their last match which was a sellout. Pride nights are both a great show of support but also a great ticket sales booster!
Ticket sales for Friday’s match are outpacing sales for our last match, which sold out. Don’t miss it! http://t.co/NaiM0Wr8Kn (fixed link)
— Detroit City FC (@DetroitCityFC) June 4, 2014
Once again YouTube has produced a video to commemorate Pride Month, and this year it’s a celebration of out LGBT athletes.
And seeming to purposely coincide with World Cup month, the post has many, many soccer stars–both out and allied–featured sharing its “Proud to Play” message.
Check it out:
Out of the 34 athletes and YouTube personalities in the video, 18 are from the world of soccer. Over half. Major League Soccer also gets a shoutout on the video’s page as an organization that supports equality. Both MLS and MLS Works did a great job in sharing the video on social media as well.
Here are the video’s soccer stars in order of appearance, both out players and allies, speaking out:
- Robbie Rogers, LA Galaxy
- Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, Barcelona & Brazilian National Team
- Marta Vieira da Silva, Tyresö FF & Brazilian National Team
- Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign & US National Team
- Denílson de Oliveira, fmr. Brazilian National Team
- André Santos, Flamengo & Brazilian National Team
- Gabriel Barbosa Almeida, Santos & Brazilian Youth National Team
- Leandro Damião, Santos & Brazilian National Team
- Marcos Arouca da Silva, Santos & Brazilian National Team
- Jádson Rodrigues da Silva, Corinthians & Brazilian National Team
- Elano Blumer, Flamengo & fmr. Brazilian National Team
- Leo Moura, Flamengo & fmr. Brazilian National Team
- Wladimir Rodrigues dos Santos, fmr. Corinthians
- Gabriel Rodrigues dos Santos, Internacional & fmr. Brazilian National Team
- Paulo Henrique Ganso, São Paulo & Brazilian National Team
- Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign & Welsh National Team
- Lori Lindsey, Washington Spirit & US National Team
- Sally Shipard, Australian National Team
A pretty impressive list and soccer fans should be proud of how well-represented we are as we gear up for an exciting FIFA World Cup!
- LA Galaxy defender Dan Gargan felt ill late in the first half of their match against the Chicago Fire, and Robbie Rogers was called in as a substitute. His wicked cross to Landon Donovan resulted in a game-tying goal and the assist and other great moves earned him “Hero of the Game” honors.
- The Boston Breakers gave Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson, well, breaks this past weekend with Lohman not playing and Sanderson serving as a sub in their 4-1 win over the Portland Thorns. Both Meleana Shim and Sarah Huffman were Thorns substitutes.
- Abby Wambach suffered a knee injury in the Western New York Flash’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Dash. She is expected to recover quickly and is a part of Jill Ellis’ roster for the USWNT’s upcoming friendlies against France.
- The midweek rest must have done the trick for Lianne Sanderson as she scored a brace against the Washington Spirit over the weekend. She was the sole Boston Breakers scorer, though, and the team lost 3-2 to the Spirit in a match that also included play from Joanna Lohman and Lori Lindsey.
Some fans acknowledged that the word is offensive to some and that they’d work to change their language. Many others took a more defensive stance on the issue. Both these reactions are familiar to me as I’ve heard it all before as I let supporters groups know that in many Spanish-speaking cultures it’s the worst gay slur possible.
The defensive posturing usually comes in two forms. The first is “That’s not an offensive word.”
Posts on Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary dispute this. But before you attack me for citing sites dominated by user-generated content, here are some other examples. The gay republican group GOPRoud asked comedian George Lopez to apologize for using the word in his routine mocking Mitt Romney. The Spanish-language talk show “Jose Luis Sin Censura” was taken off the air in part because audiences were encouraged to chant the word at guests who appeared to be gay. If you want to take this more directly into the sports world, out boxer Orlando Cruz has had crowds chant the word at him during fights.
To many, “puto” is clearly an offensive word targeting gay men.
The second defense that comes up is “That word means a few things. We didn’t mean it the offensive way, so it’s okay that we use it.” Okay, let me tell you about PorkChop.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are a Minor League affiliate of baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies. Moving from Ottawa to the Allentown area in 2008, the name is derived from “pig iron,” which is a product of the region’s once-booming steel industry. As many new sports franchises do, they held a “name the mascot” contest the year before play began. They received thousands of entries and the team selected a name submitted by dozens of fans: PorkChop. PorkChop seemed like a cute, clever, and innocuous choice for a name for a mascot that’s a grey-colored porker. It might have been cute; it might have been clever. But some Lehigh Valley residents found it anything but innocuous. When the Valley’s Puerto Rican community grew rapidly over the decades in the second half of the twentieth century, porkchop was a derogatory slur used against them as they quickly became a greater part of the area’s blue-collar workforce in the steel industry and other area companies like Mack Trucks.
Just days after the original announcement, PorkChop became Ferrous. The team heard fans’ complaints and while they meant no offense by the use of the word, they listened and they learned and they did what they felt should be done to make sure all fans felt comfortable with the area’s new franchise. General manager Kurt Landes summed up the team’s position well speaking to CBS News: “We were really unaware of any negative connotations with the word ‘pork chop.’ If it offended a few, it’s a few too many.”
Our sport would be so much better if we followed the IronPigs’ example when it comes to supporters groups who toss around the word puto. We’d be so much better off if the reaction from all when the issue was raised was:
We were really unaware of any negative connotations with the word ‘puto.’ If it offended a few, it’s a few too many.
- Lori Lindsey was one of three players to score in the Washington Spirit’s 3-3 draw against Sky Blue FC. Her shot from distance found the back of the net.
- In a week when same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Oregon, Sarah Huffman’s Portland Thorns defeated Abby Wambach’s Western New York Flash 2-1. Wambach scored in the match that saw Meleana Shim as a late-game substitute.
- While Lianne Sanderson and Joanna Lohman both played a full 90 minutes, it was another loss for the Boston Breakers as they fell to FC Kansas City 2-0.
- A goal and an assist from Abby Wambach ensured a 2-2 draw for the Western New York Flash on the road against league leaders Seattle Reign FC.
- Later in the week Lori Lindsey played 90 minutes in the Washington Spirit’s 3-2 win over the Houston Dash in a match that saw some DC pro football players in attendance.
- Meleana Shim got the start in the Portland Thorn’s 1-0 home loss to Sky Blue FC. Sarah Huffman was also a substitute.
- Memorial Day Weekends seem to be historic for the LA Galaxy, a year after Robbie Rogers’ team debut he was available but did not play in a match that saw Landon Donovan score a brace to claim the MLS all-time top scorer mantle.
The Vancouver Whitecaps used the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia to debut their new pride scarf. Now they’ve released a new video for the You Can Play Project.
- midfielder Russell Teibert
- defender and captain Jay DeMerit
- forward Erik Hurtado
- defender Andy O’Brien
- midfielder Sebastián Fernández
- midfielder Gershon Koffie
- midfielder Pedro Morales
- forward Kekuta Manneh
- midfielder Matías Laba
- defender Jordan Harvey
- goalkeeper David Ousted
- head coach Carl Robinson
The Vancouver Whitecaps also used the video release to spread the word for their Pride Night coming up on July 27. Scarves are still available at their online shop, as well as upcoming matches while they last. $10 of each purchase goes to support the You Can Play Project.
Well done Oregon. #equality
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 19, 2014
The reaction, while unique for sports teams, shouldn’t be a surprise from the Timbers and Thorns organization. Last October the teams became the first professional franchises in the nation to endorse a ballot initiative legalizing gay unions. Oregon voters weigh in on the proposal this November.
The Oregonian took the opportunity to talk to the Thorns’ Sarah Huffman. Huffman and Abby Wambach wed in Hawaii last fall, but while they consider themselves spouses their relationship does not yet have legal status. She said the couple plans to take those steps “when the time is right.”
This past Saturday was the annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and MLS supporters groups used the day to speak out.
Here’s a look at what some groups did. Section 8 Chicago at the Fire vs. Kansas City match:
— Jëff Krausë (@DFBJeff) May 19, 2014
Gorilla FC at the Seattle vs. San Jose match:
— Gorilla FC (@GorillaFC) May 20, 2014
The Timbers Army at the Portland vs. Columbus match, just days before a court decision legalized same-sex marriage in their state:
— NAmerican Terraces (@NATerraces) May 18, 2014
And finally the Vancouver Whitecaps used the day to unveil their new rainbow scarf. Ten dollars of the cost of every scarf sold will be donated to the You Can Play Project. The scarf is both available for sale online and in person at upcoming matches.
- After a few weeks on the bench, Robbie Rogers made his season debut with the main LA Galaxy squad in their 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. It’s a packed week for the Galaxy as they return to the field Wednesday night against FC Dallas at home.
- Once again the Portland Thorns delivered a 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both Sarah Huffman and Meleana Shim were substitutes in the match.
- It was a doubly bad week for Lianne Sanderson, Joanna Lohman, and the Boston Breakers as they lost twice in a row to the Chicago Red Stars. Both Lohman and Sanderson saw 180 minutes of action across the pair of matches.
- Abby Wambach’s head found the back of the net once again, but it wasn’t enough for the Western New York Flash who lost to the Washington Spirit 3-2. Lori Lindsey served up the assist for the Spirit’s first goal of the game.
- Anton Hysen and the Myrtle Beach Mutiny got their season off on a good note Friday night as they were victorious on the road against the FC Carolina Discoveries. The team capped off the weekend with a day at the beach to celebrate:
— Myrtle Beach Mutiny (@MyrtleBeachFC) May 17, 2014
- Midweek, many NWSL stars’ attentions turned to international duty. 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying has started for UEFA, and Boston Breakers captain Lianne Sanderson played in England’s 4-0 victory over Ukraine. England’s four remaining qualifiers are all on the road. Abby Wambach captained the USA Women to a 1-1 draw with Canada in Winnipeg.
- Robbie Rogers once again traveled with the LA Galaxy and while he was in the 18 he didn’t see any action. His exclusion is a bit inexplicable as Bruce Arena only used two of his available substitutions. After a 92nd minute goal from Robbie Keane, a third substitution makes sense if only to kill off some of the time on the clock. And why not use the opportunity to bring in a player like Rogers who has found a new home in the back line of the LA Galaxy II?
- In NWSL Weekend action FC Kansas City beat the Washington Spirit 2-1; Lori Lindsey was a late-game substitute. Abby Wambach and her famous noggin were the lone goal scorers in the Western New York Flash’s 2-0 victory over Sky Blue FC. Both Sarah Huffman and Meleana Shim were substitutes in what turned out to be a home turf upset for the Portland Thorns as they fell 1-0 to their Cascadia rivals the Seattle Reign, still without Megan Rapinoe.