Target: Seattle Reign FC
Goal: Support and commend soccer team’s decision to partner with LGBT advocacy organization
Recently, Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League became the very first American women’s professional sports team to join the You Can Play Project. You Can Play is an LGBT advocacy organization that seeks to get rid of homophobia in sports.
The team released a video announcing the partnership with the project. Megan Rapinoe, the American soccer player who came out as a lesbian before playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Many of her teammates are featured in the video, in which the team pledges to create more tolerant environments in the locker room, on the pitch, and in the stands.
Seattle Reign FC’s decision to join the You Can Play movement is significant, because even though a number of other professional athletes and teams have joined since the project’s inception, this is the first American women’s professional sports team to do so. While many people in the sports world are well aware of the homophobia that exists in men’s sports, the homophobia that also pervades women’s sports can sometimes be overlooked or under-recognized by the media.
Female athletes still face homophobia, and women in sports are often viewed by society as unfeminine and more likely to be lesbians, which can drive backlash against gay athletes on women’s teams. Lesbian coaches are also often subject to discrimination and homophobia. Many lesbian athletes who have recently come out, like professional basketball player Brittney Griner, have spoken about how they are pressured to pretend to be straight or downplay their sexuality.
Seattle Reign FC has shown its commitment to breaking down these barriers. Show your support for the team’s actions by signing the petition below.
Dear Seattle Reign FC,
Your team’s recent decision to join in on the You Can Play Project, which works to end homophobia in professional sports, is commendable. As the first American women’s professional sports team to join the movement and commit to creating more tolerant environments in the locker rooms, in the stands, and on the pitch, you are helping break down the barriers that exist in the world of women’s sports teams.
While homophobia is frequently associated with male athletes, discrimination and hate certainly exist in the world of women’s sports. Lesbian athletes are pressured to stay in the closet, and lesbian coaches are discriminated against. By joining the You Can Play Project, you are working to end these problems that pervade athletics, and hopefully this will encourage other teams to step forward and join the movement. I commend the team for its actions and for releasing a video explaining its decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hmlarson via Wikimedia Commons