Photo courtesy Union Omaha
Launched five years ago by former North Carolina FC standout Austin da Luz, the Playing for Pride initiative will again feature numerous players across the country this month, including those currently featuring in the USL Championship and League One.
The campaign in association with Athlete Ally – which sees players make donations to LGBTQ+ initiatives nationally and in their local communities, and asks fans to match them based on their performances in games during June – was officially launched on Wednesday afternoon by Birmingham Legion FC player and current U.S. Soccer Players’ Council member Mikey Lopez.
It's time for @playingforpride! Buy this shirt I'm wearing at Athlete Ally's merch store (link in their bio). Proceeds for this year's campaign go both to @AthleteAlly & local orgs fighting for LGBTQI+ equality. I'll be donating $25 per game. Learn more: https://t.co/snCEUDN25n pic.twitter.com/tTFZ8J3dGM— Mikey López (@MLopez12_5) June 1, 2022
Lopez is one of 13 currently active players and coaches in the USL Championship, League One and League Two taking part in this year’s initiative, and you can donate directly to the United Soccer League’s page throughout the month.
Joining them are numerous supporters’ groups across the country, including OKC Energy FC group Main Street Greens, which in 2018 became the USL Championship’s first LGBTQ+ oriented supporters’ group.
Kyle Adams, San Diego Loyal FC
Matt Bahner, El Paso Locomotive FC
Jamie Dell, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Sam Gleadle, Monterey Bay F.C.
Miguel Ibarra, Charlotte Independence
Dekel Keinan, Las Vegas Lights FC
Duke Lacroix, Sacramento Republic FC
Mikey Lopez, Birmingham Legion FC
Collin Martin, San Diego Loyal SC
Brent Richards, Orange County SC
Jalen Robinson, Loudoun United FC
Ben Willis, Coach, Ballard FC
Zach Zandi, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
AFC Ann Arbor – Main Street Hooligans – Ozone House
Asheville City FC – South Slope Blues – Campaign for Southern Equality
Birmingham Legion FC – Magic City Brigade – Magic City Acceptance Center
Charleston Battery – The Regiment – We Are Family
Des Moines Menace – The Society DSM – Iowa Safe Schools
Detroit City FC – Northern Guard Supporters – Ruth Ellis Center
Fort Wayne FC – Three Rivers Regiment – Indiana Youth Group
Forward Madison FC – The Flock – GSAFE
Hartford Athletic – The Bonanza – Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective
Greenville Triumph SC – Reedy River Riot – Upstate Pride SC
Indy Eleven – Brickyard Battalion – Indiana Youth Group
Little Rock Rangers – The Red Watch – Lucie's Place
Louisville City FC – LouCity Ladies & Los Morados - Louisville Pride Foundation
Memphis 901 FC – Bluff City Mafia – OUTMemphis
Minneapolis City SC – Model Citizens – RECLAIM!
New Mexico United – The Curse – Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
OKC Energy FC – Main Street Greens – Freedom Oklahoma
Phoenix Rising FC – Union 602 & Los Bandidos – one•n•ten
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Steel Army – Persad Center
Sacramento Republic FC – Tower Bridge Battalion – Lavender Library
San Diego Loyal SC – The Locals / Rainbow Locals & Chavos de Loyal - TransFamily Support Services
Tampa Bay Rowdies – Ralph’s Mob – Metro Inclusive Health
Toledo Villa FC – Black Swamp Brigade – Equality Toledo
FC Tulsa – 83 United – Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
Union Omaha – Omaha Parliament – PFLAG Omaha