Pride Month

Soccer for All: How MLS clubs are celebrating Pride Month

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MLS clubs are celebrating Pride Month to recognize the impact of the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some of the events taking place throughout the month.

Atlanta United hosted Malik Brown, the Atlanta Mayor’s Director of LGBTQ+ affairs, to take part in Golden Spike moment pre-match on June 10.

Austin FC will be hosting the Y’all Means All Cup, benefiting Austin LGBT Chamber.

Austin FC also celebrated four local LGBTQIA+ community leaders that strengthen and enrich the community.  The leaders include Educator and Los Verdes Board Member, Jesse Sosa, Chair of the Board of Directors for Out Youth, Ivan Davila, recording artist and musician, Gina Chavez, and CEO of Reverie Books, Thais Perkins.

Charlotte FC celebrated Pride in the month of June with a Pride Night theme match on June 10 and then will participate in the Charlotte Pride weekend in August. The Soccer For All Celebration on matchday included the first team wearing the Love Unites Adidas training tops, a Pride-themed patch gate giveaway courtesy of Ally, a round-up program at the Team Store to benefit Charlotte Pride and stadium integrations that showcase support and alliance with the LGBTQ+ community.

To kick off Pride Month, Chicago Fire FC announced the launch of their Play Proud League in conjunction with Common Goal’s Play Proud initiative. Chicago Fire FC’s Play Proud League is an inclusive, physically, and psychologically safe space, created for LGBTQ+ people, friends, and allies to compete and build community. Whether you are a soccer enthusiast or never kicked a ball, the Play Proud League is a place where everyone can be their authentic selves and enjoy the beautiful game. The inaugural Play Proud League season will begin on June 28. I’ve attached our full press release for additional information!

At the club's Pride Night match (June 10), the Fire created a lively night of unity, inclusivity, and celebrating what makes us all unique. Throughout the evening, Pride Night featured special events, a flag giveaway, and activities planned to recognize the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to soccer and beyond! Activations included players and our in-arena host, Gabe Ramirez, wearing the MLS “Love Unites” Pride warm-up tops; a Fire/Pride branded foam-handle flag giveaway for the first 10,000 fans in the stadium; specialty Pride merchandise, such as the warm-up top, t-shirt, bucket hats and scarves, with a portion of merchandise revenue being donated to Play Proud; specialty concession items including a rainbow snow cone; National Anthem performance by the Chicago Gay Men’s Choir, and performances by DJ SAINT DEVERA and singer/songwriter Vasil; trivia and music with Chicago Fire DJ, DJ Cabrera, with Pride-themed giveaways; Pride Progress décor throughout the stadium, such as a rainbow balloon arch and photo station with Pride-themed props and colorful boas.

FC Cincinnati have worked closely with Cincinnati Pride to support LGBTQIA+ businesses and the organization’s Pride initiatives. FC Cincy’s grassroots marketing team and mascot Gary the Lion will be attending various community events such as Pride Night at the Museum, Pride Day at Westwood Second Saturday, Pink Party, Pride Flag raising ceremony at Town Hall and the Cincinnati Pride Parade.

June 3’s Pride match, presented by Proctor and Gamble, featured a special ticket package opportunity, which allowed participating fans to receive a Pride merchandise item, and each purchased ticket helped benefit Cincinnati Black Pride.

The Colorado Rapids have partnered with You Can Play Project, Big Queer Little Queer and Everybody Say Love to convey inclusion and support for the LQBGT+ community by hosting pride-themed coaching clinics, conducting staff education and participating in community events, such as Denver’s Rainbow Market. The efforts build up to the club’s Pride Night on Saturday, June 21, as the Rapids face Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with both teams wearing Pride warmup tops during before the match.

The Columbus Crew will celebrate Soccer For All throughout June as part of the club’s year-round efforts to advance participation in and love for the beautiful game. The Black & Gold will host their Soccer For All themed night on June 24 focused on inclusivity, Pride Month, Juneteenth and participation in the sport for individuals of all abilities, including players wearing Pride tops pre-match. Kaleidoscope Youth Center will be among the Soccer For All groups with activations before the match.

D.C. United had a 100-person delegation in the DC Capital Pride parade on June 10. The delegation was made up of staff, fans, supports and players. The club also had a table/tent activation at the Capital Pride Festival where their street team and sales team activated fans to learn more about DCU, giveaways, and much more. Capital Pride is one of the largest celebrations in the world. United Night Out is the club's annual Pride match. DCU will work with supporter's groups, local LGBTQ organizations and other community members for match integration, community tickets, and other empowerment/collaboration opportunities. There will also be other events and programming leading up to this match which may include a drag brunch and collaborations with partners such as Team DC and The Federal Triangles Soccer Club.

D.C. United hosted photoshoot at cultural hub, Busboys & Poets, to showcase the Pride Kit Tops ahead of United Night Out and Pride month. The photoshoot included individuals from the DC LGBTQ community across education, nonprofit and government.

FC Dallas’ match against Nashville SC on June 3 celebrated diversity, equity and inclusion with their annual ‘Y’all Means All Night’. FC Dallas players wore limited edition Love Unites training tops during warmups and the match was followed with a ‘Peace & Love’ themed drone light show. FC Dallas will also support the annual Dallas Pride Festival through the FC Dallas Soccer Tour Activation that will be on site with games, prizes and other giveaways.

Houston Dynamo FC and the Houston Dash kicked off Pride festivities on June 6 at Pearl Bar where players engaged with fans during the evening, leading bingo and distributing Pride-themed jersey flags, courtesy of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Festivities continued at Shell Energy Stadium as the Dynamo defeated the reigning MLS Cup champions LAFC on Saturday and the Dash hosted NY/NJ Gotham FC on Sunday for Pride Weekend. 

Houston Dynamo Football Club partnered with local artist Carra Sykes to design custom artwork and merchandise in celebration of Pride Month, including a shirt and patch currently available at the team store. Sykes shares the inspiration behind the design in this video feature.

Multiple LGBTQIA+ organizations were recognized throughout the weekend and met with fans to share their missions, goals and to foster community. Members of these organizations also joined the club for a conversation on inclusivity and allyship within the world of sports prior to the Dash match on Sunday. 

Additionally, the club launched an auction of game-worn Pride themed jerseys and warm up tops as part of the festivities. All proceeds from the auction will benefit You Can Play, a non-profit organization that works to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. Bids are now open and close on June 30.

For updates and additional information, visit

Sporting Kansas City has once again teamed up with the Kansas City Pride Community Alliance for ongoing support of the LGBTQ community and together with jersey-front partner Compass Minerals partnered in their KC Pride Parade on June 10 as part of KC PrideFest at Theis Park. In addition, Sporting Kansas City kicked off Pride Month by hosting the club’s annual Pride Night at Children’s Mercy Park in an inclusive celebration of Soccer For All. During warmups, Sporting Kansas City players wore the 2023 Pride pre-match top from adidas, designed by queer South African designer Rich Mnisi, and this year’s SportingStyle pride collection also features tees, hats and other club merchandise for supporters.

DJ Baby Boi, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, performed live on the Mazuma Plaza pre-game and in the Budweiser Brew House post-game. In addition, the national anthem was performed by Petra Horn-Marsh and Heartsong, the small ensemble from the Kansas City Women’s Chorus. Progressive flags were flown in both the Supporters’ Stand and South Stand on both ends of the field and stadium digital displays were customized to feature pride-themed elements throughout the matchday. Finally, the club welcomed back Eric Wahl as a special guest on Pride Night as CBS filmed a tribute to KC native Grant Wahl – showcasing his longtime support for the LGBTQ community – which aired as part of the network’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final on June 10.

The LA Galaxy's Pride Night took place in their home match against Charlotte FC on May 27 in collaboration with Community Partner Rainbow Labs.

The event featured national anthem singer John Joseph from the Pride Community and Hero of the Match Sgt. Rechelle Hoppers from the Pride Community. In-stadium assets/videos played bringing awareness to the club's partner organizations with rainbow goal nets, corner flags and Berm palm trees showcasing Pride colors. The first 10,000 fans in the stadium received an LA Galaxy pride pin.

The club also took part in the LA Pride parade on June 11.

LAFC joined forces with several LA based pro sports teams including the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams & Angel City FC to activate a sports hub during WeHo pride. LAFC & Heineken, joined by more than 100 LAFC staff and supporters participated in LA’s Pride Parade on June 11. The parade entry included a custom wrapped double decker bus and co-branded Pride themed giveaways for parade attendees.

LAFC will host its Pride match on Saturday, June 24.  The stadium-wide celebration includes a free co-branded  Heineken Pride-themed bandana for all fans in attendance and a custom designed, Pride themed T-shirt being gifted to community organizations both designed by LA-based LGBTQ+ artist Dalila Mendez.  The Club will host and recognized local LGBTQ+ organizations during pregame at the match including Adelitas Revenge, TransLatin@ Coalition and Free Mom Hugs.  Members of LAFC’s inclusive LGBTQ+ supporters group Pride Republic will serve as flag bearers for the match.  The Adidas ‘Love Unites’ Pride warmup top is available for purchase online and at LAFC’s team store and will be worn by members of the First Team during warmups.

A group of mentees from Rainbow Labs will be welcomed to the match on behalf of BMO. The group will hold the flag during the anthem and meet an LAFC player following the match.

Inter Miami CF's wore Pride tops in the club's match on May 31.

Minnesota United will once again be celebrating at the Twin Cities Pride Festival. Our booth will have games, giveaways, music, prizes and more all weekend-long. In conjunction with their supporters, Minnesota United staff will be marching in the Pride parade again this year.

The club celebrated their annual Pride game on Saturday, June 3, recognizing local community leaders advocating for LGBTQ+ rights while celebrating artists, business owners and more. A select number of jerseys from Pride game will be auctioned off to benefit OutFront Minnesota, the largest advocacy group for LGBTQ Rights in the State of Minnesota. Fans are encouraged to round up their purchases to benefit Reclaim! Minnesota all month, the largest mental health provider for queer and trans youth.

CF Montréal's Pride game will take place on August 26 with players wearing Pride top.

Nashville SC, in partnership with the TN Pride Chamber, celebrated PRIDE Month by hosting the 2023 NSC PRIDE Night at GEODIS Park on Sunday, May 29 when the club hosted Columbus Crew. Central to the celebration was the launch of the 2023 Pride Patch with proceeds benefiting the TN Pride Chamber. Before the match, Nashville SC hosted the Pride Plaza Party featuring DJ Manrelic and various LGBTQ+ vendors, community organizations, artists, and allies. Every one of the nine musical acts performed at GEODIS Park on any given matchday, including the traditional Guitar Riff and National Anthem, was performed by a member of the LGBTQ+ community that day. Exclusive 2023 PRIDE Night merchandise such as the PRIDE scarf and adidas jersey top will be available at the Nashville SC Team Store and online at

The Revolution's Pride Night took place June 10 and incorporated various matchday Pride elements such as custom kits and stadium lighting. The Revolution have partnered with the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY) to support their Host Homes program during Saturday’s edition of the Revolution Drive Series Presented by the Dan O’Brien Automotive Group.

At all entrance gates last Saturday, the Revolution collected household goods such as towels and sheets for Host Homes, an innovative, holistic program designed to address LGBTQ+ youth homelessness in Massachusetts for youth 18-24 years old. Revolution players joined all MLS clubs in wearing the adidas ‘Love Unites’ training tops for warm-ups prior to Saturday’s match. In addition, members of Gillette’s GABLE (Gay, Ally, Bisexual and Lesbian Employees) group joined the club on the field to unfurl the Pride flag on the pitch during pregame ceremonies.

NYCFC held its Pride Match on June 3 against the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium in partnership with the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) and Athlete Ally. Prior to the match, the Club hosted a Pride edition Fan Fest where fans had the chance to write messages of support for the LGBTQIA+ community on a living art wall that was donated to HMI.

Ahead of kickoff, NYCFC players wore this year’s Pride pre-match top that was available in the team store alongside this year’s Pride scarf, designed by New York City-based artist Marisa Kurk. The first 5,000 fans to enter Yankee Stadium also received a Pride-themed bucket hat, similarly designed by Marisa Kurk. Additionally, to help kick off the match, drag queen Jan Sport performed the National Anthem.

NYCFC Front Office Staff, City Members and the Club’s partner Nissan will also march in New York City’s Pride Parade later this month.

RBNY's Pride match will take place on June 24 with players wearing Pride tops. Activities include:

  • Pride sunglasses giveaway on ingress
  • Pregame drag bingo w/ pride merch prizes in the CrossBar
  • National Anthem performance by Transcend, a New York-based trans / gender-expansive vocal ensemble
  • Children of same-sex families as Starting XI player escorts
  • Community organization recognitions at halftime
  • Supporters march to the match & rainbow smoke at kickoff
  • Attendance from LGTBQ+ influencers in town for NYC Pride
  • Postgame party at pub partner location
  • Auctioning player-worn prematch Pride tops in support of NY Ramblers scholarship fund

On June 10, Orlando City celebrated the vibrant LGBTQ+ community of Orlando at its annual "Pride in Our City" match, also recognizing the seven-year remembrance of the 49 Angels of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. The Club welcomed multiple local LGBTQ+ organizations and nonprofits, with the Orlando Gay Chorus conducting a special performance at halftime. For the game, all players wore specialty kits featuring rainbow numbers that will be signed and auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the Orlando City Foundation’s diversity, equity, and inclusion community outreach efforts. The match began a weekend of the Club’s celebration of LGBTQ+ pride, continuing the next day with the Orlando Pride's home match on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Union continued their work with PlayProud, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion in boardrooms, locker rooms, and stands, by providing training for all front office staff regarding inclusivity and allyship. Philadelphia Union hosted their Pride match presented by Subaru of America on June 3rd at Subaru Park where fans entering the match received a rainbow captains’ armband. Local community partners, such as the Philly Falcons, activated at the club’s pre-game plaza area, which also featured LGBTQ+ DJ, Ken Dollaz. Union Supporters took part in a special moment at the 14th minute in the River End to honor same-sex marriage being legalized in PA in 2014, where they held up rainbow scrolling banners that said Soccer for All. Union front office staff and fans walked in the city’s Pride March on June 4th and will activate at upcoming Delaware County Pride month festivals.

The Portland Timbers hosted their Pride Night match against FC Dallas on June 11. In addition to the team wearing their Pride warm up tops, a halftime remembrance took place to honor Portland drag queen legend Darcelle.

The club will support the 107ist and Timbers Army ‘Prideraiser’ by raising donation awareness and spotlighting the benefiting organization, Wild Diversity, a nonprofit organization that aims to help create personal connection to the outdoors for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and the LGBTQIA2S+ communities through outdoor adventures and education. To make a donation, visit the Timbers Army Prideraiser page.

Pride match: TBD with players wearing Pride tops.

San Jose will have LGTBQ+ community partners activate and share their organization with fans in Quakes Epicenter during June 17 match. The club will also have Valley Health Plan (corporate partner) doing a giveaway at gate for fans. Community auction will benefit community partners that attend match. San Jose has worked with local artist Houyee to create a Pride Patch that will be sold to benefit local LGBTQ organizations and are filming a short segment with Houyee to discuss the patch more. They will also be auctioning off a white soccer ball signed in colors of the rainbow by the Quakes. Various LGBTQ organizations will be setup in Epicenter on matchday to offer information and resources to fans.

The club will also be hosting the San Francisco Spikes at a training session for media availability on Pride awareness ahead of the Quakes Pride theme night match vs. Portland this Saturday, June 17. The San Francisco Spikes Soccer Club provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer people and allies with opportunities to compete in local leagues, represent San Francisco in tournaments worldwide, and play recreational soccer. The Spikes create a healthy, affordable and supportive environment for our members to play soccer at all levels, participate in LGBTQIA+ social causes and events, build community, and have fun.

Throughout the past year St. Louis CITY SC held workshops with the LGBTQIA+ community to develop an inclusive and welcoming fan experience in CITYPARK. The club celebrated St. Louis’ vibrant LGBTQIA+ community before, during and after Pride match on June 3.

Sounders FC stands for LGBTQ+ Equality. Throughout Pride Month, Sounders will continue their work to make Washington State the most inclusive place for gender diverse youth to play soccer in the United States, supported by Starbucks – the Official Pride Partner of Sounders FC – and community experts and partners at Intentionalist, Trans Families and Athlete Ally.

On June 2, Sounders FC joined OL Reign, Starbucks and youth from Trans Families in raising the Progress Pride Flag at Lumen Field. The flag flew during the teams’ doubleheader on June 3, and will remain up for OL Reign’s Pride match on June 10 and the Sounders FC Pride match, presented by Starbucks, on June 24.

Sounders FC is also committed to supporting LGBTQ+-owned small businesses, alongside Intentionalist and the Seattle professional sports community. In the Receipt & Receive program, Intentionalist and Sounders FC, along with fellow local professional sports teams, are encouraging the community to buy from local LGBTQ+ owned small businesses by providing incentives through the month of June. Fans who upload receipts from qualifying LGBTQ+ owned businesses have the chance to win a variety of prizes from Seattle’s sports teams, including a pair of Sounders FC tickets and autographed gear.

Sounders FC will host their annual Pride match on June 24. The match will feature LGBTQ+-owned food trucks, in addition to Pride-themed activations and visuals. On-field, players will wear MLS Pride pre-match tops, as well as jerseys with Pride numbers designed in collaboration with Athlete Ally. Both apparel items will be auctioned off, in partnership with RAVE Foundation and Providence, to benefit organizations that advocate for LGBTQ+ students.

After the match, on June 25, Sounders FC will march alongside the other Seattle professional sports teams in the Seattle Pride parade. The group will also be joined by student-athletes from across the country, convening in Seattle for the Athlete Ally Activism Summit.

Toronto FC's Pride Match took place on May 17 along with a Youth Summit and Pride Parade. Fan artwork in recognition of Pride Month was also created in partnership with Play Proud.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the club’s annual Pride match on Saturday, July 8 against Seattle Sounders FC. It will be a festive and colourful evening at BC Place, from Pride warmup tops, to the nets and corner flags. Fans should stay tuned for information on special pre-match events and performances. Vancouver Whitecaps FC have also been working with local community groups to both educate and celebrate inclusivity, including the Vancouver Pride Society.