By Kirsten Arpin // @Kirsten_Hoogs
June. The month that brings us the middle of the season, the beginning of summer, and the end of school.
June also brings us something much more important…Pride.
Teams all around the country have been celebrating Pride this month to show their support for the LGBTQIA community. Not just MLS teams, but also USL teams, NWSL teams, and even the US National teams have participated. There have been tifos, scarves, t-shirts, team warm ups, fundraisers, and jerseys.
MLS may be the league that embraces the meaning and spirit of Pride more than any other American sports league. Sporting Kansas City had this to say about their Pride night:
As an organization that prides itself on creating an inclusive environment for all, Pride Night has always been an important initiative for us. If you’ve ever been to a match and sat in the Cauldron, you know that our supporters are extremely welcoming to new fans regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Pride Night is just an extension of that and another way to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for our supporters.
I was able to talk with a couple of Cauldron members and see what Pride night meant for them:
[June 1] meant to me community, acceptance, and love for one another even with our differences and backgrounds.
Having a Pride themed game may seem like a small (or unnoticed) event for the fanbase as a whole, but it goes a long way in showing support for people that are often underrepresented in our community, soccer or otherwise. Showing support for all types of human beings is a great gesture, and one that we should be proud of. Hopefully, our show of support was inspirational for people that may feel excluded or afraid because of who they are, and that will lead to a greater sense of community in our amazing group.
When the National Team decided to use the rainbow numbers I read some of the Twitter and Facebook comments, and it was a really bad idea. There was so much hate and disdain there that it was almost sickening, but beyond that people were saying that the National Teams should stay out of politics and stick to soccer. But this shouldn’t have to be a political issue, it should be a humanity issue. By the USMNT and USWNT showing their support they are setting a precedent for the rest of American sports.
Keep being prideful soccer fans! Don’t let this sense of camaraderie and community end with June! Pride month should be every month. Acceptance and equality are for every month.
#PrideMonth #LoveisLove #AllAreWelcome #WeTogether
Featured image courtesy: @SportingKC
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