CHICAGO (Aug. 23, 2017) – U.S. Soccer will donate more than $65,000 to the You Can Play Project after a series of initiatives celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in June. The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams wore pride-inspired jerseys with rainbow numbers during their June friendlies and the game-issued kits were autographed and auctioned online. All proceeds from the auction - which was a partnership with the respective players associations - as well as all sales of the jersey and a special commemorative hat have been donated to You Can Play.
You Can Play is dedicated to insuring safety, inclusion and respect for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. The organization believes that teams should assess athletes by their skill, hard work and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In addition to U.S. Soccer, You Can Play has partnered with several major sports organizations, including Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League.
The MNT donned their Pride Month uniforms in a friendly against Venezuela at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on June 3. The WNT sported the special edition kit during its summer swing through Scandinavia that garnered a pair of 1-0 wins against Sweden in Gothenburg and Norway in Sandefjord. National Team members also appeared in a video extolling the values of You Can Play: acceptance and inclusion of athletes from all backgrounds.
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A long-time supporter of the LGBTQ community, in 2016, U.S. Soccer promoted the hashtag #OneNation in support of the victims of the Pulse Night Club shooting. For the team’s first game after the tragedy, U.S. MNT captain Michael Bradley wore a special rainbow armband with the One Nation inscription, and auctioned off the armband and his jersey to benefit the OneOrlando Fund and Equality Florida.