The U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams plan to sport rainbow-themed numbers on their uniforms during June contests to support LGBT Pride Month as part of a collaborative initiative between U.S. Soccer and You Can Play— an organization dedicated to eradicating homophobia and transphobia through the sports world.
The men’s team members will wear the rainbow shirts in their game against Venezuela on June 3 in Utah. The women’s team will wear theirs in games against Sweden (June 8) and Norway (June 11). After the games, the shirts will be auctioned off for charity.
Michael Bradley wore a rainbow captain’s armband last summer in a game against Ecuador. It was later auctioned off to benefit those affected by the Orlando nightclub shooting.
USWNT coach Jill Ellis is an open lesbian and has coached openly lesbian stars such as Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe.
“(A sport) brings every different kind of person together, and you have to have a common goal,” Ellis told USA TODAY Sports in a 2015 story on LGBT issues in the sports world. “And as much as (gay slurs and homophobia) have been a bastion for locker room talk on certain teams, I also think it’s a place where we can break down barriers and forge supportive environments and equality.”
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