CHICAGO –The National Women’s Soccer League Saturday announced that teams may use the July 12 and 13 match game-days of the NWSL 2020 Challenge Cup as their game in support of Pride Month.
“Pride celebrations are foundational to who we are as a league and it’s important that we take the opportunity that our stage provides to recognize those we love and support and the work that is still required to ensure equality is the rule not the exception,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement.
Many of the teams have already been actively showing their support for Pride Month by raising funds for local LGBTQ+ communities, holding panels, auctioning off jerseys and more. See below for details on what teams are doing and how you can get involved in Pride Month.
Chicago Red Stars
- March 28: The Red Stars kicked off Pride Month in Chicago with a virtual Pride party – a portion of all ticket sales benefiting Howard Brown Health.
- July 12: Join the Red Stars in its official 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Virtual Watch Party presented by Secret and powered by Google Meet. Fans will have the opportunity to win Chicago Red Stars Pride swag packs during pregame and halftime trivia!
- Sarah Gorden’s “Pass It On Challenge”: The Red Stars will be donating $100 for each goal scored during its game on Sunday, July 12 vs Utah Royals FC to Brave Space Alliance. To learn more about Brave Space Alliance, click here.
- Late March: Dash fan Helen Stewart created custom facemasks featuring the “Y’all Means All ” slogan created by Dash supporters group Bayou City Republic, and donated the masks to Houston-area medical staff and first responders. Y’all Means All is an overarching message of inclusivity, and the Dash and Bayou City Republic have adopted it as a club motto during Pride Month as well.
- June 29: Players from the Houston Dash and Houston Dynamo joined together with leaders from the Houston LGBTQ+ community for a virtual roundtable discussion on gender, sexuality and sports. The “Athletes and Allies ” round table, hosted by Houston radio personality and Dash public address announcer Sarah Pepper, continued the Dash’s longstanding support of PRIDE Houston.
North Carolina Courage
- July 3: Hosted by its fan group “the Uproar”, the Courage auctioned off team gear in support of raising funds for local North Carolina LGBTQ+ organizations, LGBT Center of Raleigh and the Human Rights Campaign. 100% of the proceeds from t-shirts sales for the event were donated to LGBT Center of Raleigh, and, they are still for sale! Click here to purchase yours today!
- July 13: The NC Courage invited LGBTQ+ groups to join their virtual fan zone to interact during its game against Sky Blue FC.
- During the month of June, the Courage supported the fundraising efforts of Athlete Ally Playing for Pride. Athlete Ally raised over $13,000 this year through Playing for Pride to donate to the Audre Lorde Project. To join them in Playing for Pride, follow them on social media @AthleteAlly and check out the link in their bio. To learn more about Athlete Ally, click here.
Portland Thorns FC
- Stand Together: The Thorns community platform, Stand Together, celebrates Pride through a partnership with a local nonprofit called Our House of Portland. Proceeds from this year’s Pride merchandise – which is still on sale, here – directly support Our House of Portland mission. Throughout the month of June, Stand Together highlighted Our House of Portland staff, volunteers and residents to showcase their mission and elevate its message. To learn more about Our House of Portland, click here.
- Joanna Lohman Jersey Auction: In June, the Spirit actioned off Joanna Lohman’s jersey. Funds raised will be donated to SMYAL, a nonprofit located in D.C. which supports LGBTQ youths. Winner of the auction will be announced during its Pride game day on July 13 vs Houston Dash. To learn more about SMYAL, click here.
- July 20: The Spirit will be hosting a Pride Panel on intersection of race, sexual orientation and gender identity, moderated by Charity Blackwell. For more information, click here.
- July 13: OL Reign partnered with Boeing Commercial Airplanes to present this year’s Pride Match. OL Reign will be wearing secondary blue kits, featuring rainbow numbers, at its game verse Portland Thorns FC. After the match, match-worn kits will be sold to raise money for Rainbow Center Tacoma. To purchase Pride kits, click here . To learn more about Rainbow Center Tacoma, click here.
- Additionally, the club will be using Pride branded social graphics during its game against the Thorns. To view their Pride video, click here.
Sky Blue FC
- During the month of June, Sky Blue FC raised funds for the Audre Lorde Project and Athlete Ally through merchandise sales. To learn more about the Audre Lorde Project, click here. Sky Blue FC player Imani Dorsey spoke on Athlete Ally and NYCFC Pride Panel.
- July 15: Sky Blue FC will be hosting a Pride trivia and selling Pride merchandise with proceeds going to Athlete Ally. To learn more, click here.
Utah Royals FC
- The RSL Foundation will be matching donations made by Utah Royal FC players to Athlete Ally.