June is nationally recognized as Pride month for the LGBTQ community to come together, not only to celebrate but also to advocate for equality. In the wake of Saturday night’s horrific shooting at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, it can be comforting to find solidarity at Pride events, and that includes at soccer matches.
In recent years, Major League Soccer has made strides to embrace all its fans, including members of the LGBTQ community. However, there is still considerable room for improvement, which is why Pride Nights are so important. With that in mind, here are just a few upcoming events that are working to ensure that fans of every color, gender identity and sexuality feel safe and supported by their team.
1) Sky Blue FC Pride Night
Sunday, June 19th
Sky Blue FC hosts Seattle Reign FC
Sky Blue FC has partnered with The Pride Center of New Jersey to celebrate Pride at their upcoming June 19th match. Sky Blue FC’s President and General Manager, Tony Novo says, “While the initial focus of our partnership is to co-promote our Pride Night on June 19th, we will certainly look to expand our relationship with their organization beyond that. We know that we can do some very positive things together.” Click here for additional information and tickets.
2) Seattle Sounders 2nd Annual Pride Day
Saturday, June 25th
Seattle Sounders host NYC FC
The Seattle Sounders will honor Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, with a golden scarf during the team’s second annual Pride Day. Mayor Murray says, “The Sounders have been a tremendous ally in recognizing and embracing LGBTQ fans and athletes of all sports. It’s an honor to join the festivities during this year’s Pride Match, which is quickly turning into a Seattle and MLS tradition.” Click here for pre-match party and match ticket information.
3) LA Galaxy’s 3rd Annual LGBTQ Pride Night
Wednesday, June 22nd
LA Galaxy hosts Colorado Rapids
In 2013 Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay athlete in any of the five major North American sports leagues. Rogers joined the LA Galaxy after a brief retirement predicated by fear and not wanting to “deal with the circus” of being a gay footballer.
During last year’s Pride Night, Rogers scored his first goal for the Galaxy. Afterwards he said of the evening, “Tonight’s obviously Pride Night, so it’s special, and I think that’s why I was more emotional… I just know when I’m playing, obviously I’m playing for the Galaxy and these guys [in this locker room], most importantly, for myself and my family. But I also feel like I’m playing for the LGBT community.” Tickets purchased here will receive a commemorative Pride scarf and admission to a Q&A with Rogers after the match.
4) Quakes Pride Night 2016
Friday, July 8th
San Jose Quakes host FC Dallas
The San Jose Earthquakes will host their inaugural Quakes Pride Night with a pre-game LGBTQ Resource Fair and special halftime show. Tickets purchased through Project More Foundation are $35 and include a commemorative Pride scarf and a post-game meet and greet.
5) Pride Night with the Whitecaps
Wednesday, July 13th
Vancouver Whitecaps hosts Real Salt Lake
The Vancouver Frontrunners are hosting Pride Night with the theme, “You have the Right to Play.” $25 tickets include rainbow shoelaces and can be purchased here.
6) Dash Pride Night
Saturday, July 16th
Houston Dash hosts Portland Thorns
The Houston Dash celebrate Pride on July 16th with a special ticket offer that includes a Dash Pride shirt for $33. Get your tickets here.
7) Chicago Fire Pride Night
Saturday, July 31st
Chicago Fire hosts New York Red Bulls
The Chicago Fire has partnered with Equality Illinois for their Pride Night. Fans can purchase discounted tickets with a portion of the ticket benefitting Equality Illinois. Click here for additional information and tickets.
Orlando City SC
Look for Orlando City SC (and I would expect the Orlando Pride as well) to host LGBT Pride Night in October in order to coincide with the city’s Pride events.
Chicago Red Stars
The Red Stars plan to host a Pride Night at one of their July matches.
While this list is short, some teams may have yet to announce plans for a Pride night. In addition, if your team doesn’t have a Pride event call, Tweet, or Facebook message them and request one.