CHICAGO (July 1, 2021)—As part of U.S. Soccer’s One Nation social responsibility platform, the Federation has announced Courtney Pollack as Game Ambassador for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s Send-Off Series, presented by Visa, at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.
One Nation Game Ambassadors are chosen for their impact in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the local community. Pollack will be recognized during the USWNT’s July 5 match vs. Mexico (5 p.m. ET; ESPN, TUDN).
Pollack was selected as one of ESPN’s Volunteers of the Year in 2021 and is an advisor for ESPN EQUAL, the company’s resource group for LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. Pollack is a transgender woman and became the first ESPN employee to make that transition on the job when she began the process in 2004. Part of ESPN’s Facilities AV and Infrastructure, she is incredibly involved in the community, working with PFLAG Hartford, the Capitol Region Medical Reserve Corps and Cheshire’s Lights of Hope.
“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have always felt it my responsibility to give back to those who are embracing their true selves within the community, just as generations before have paved the way for me and so many others,” Pollack said. “As a parent of two young adults, one who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I know the importance of being accepted and having the ability to live your authentic self every single day. Inclusion in the workplace, in society and in sports have been the reason that I share my journey so openly to anyone who asks, so that they might have a better understanding of how crucial acceptance plays a part in one’s life.
“Giving back to my community has always been important to me, so when the pandemic hit I wanted to find a way to help. Being able to help frontline workers and first responders let me feel that I was doing something, no matter how big or small.”
PFLAG is the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their families and allies and Pollack serves on the PFLAG Hartford Board of Directors as Technology Chair. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, she helped PFLAG Hartford transition seamlessly to virtual support meetings for the LGBTQ+ community and their families.
With the Capitol Region Medical Reserve Corps, Pollack volunteered at a PPE distribution site to provide equipment to police, firefighters, EMS and other frontline workers as well as at vaccination sites, including the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn. She also took it upon herself to buy a cutting machine to create and donate 2,000 “ear buddies” that take the strain of mask loops off the back of ears.
Cheshire’s Lights of Hope brings together the Cheshire, Conn. community with the simple act of lighting a candle in a bag to illuminate the town, raising money for local charities to create a brighter world. Pollack is a part of the organization’s Executive Committee, focusing on social media.