DC United Stand United In Their Support of LGBT Teens
Launched in September of 2010, the “It Gets Better” project aims to bring messages of support and hope to LGBT youth dealing with the struggles of bullying due to sexual orientation or suspected sexual orientation. Largely online and taking advantage of social media, the “It Gets Better” project includes videos of personal stories and encouragement uploaded by gay and straight teens and adults, celebrities, business leaders, politicians and, increasingly, athletes. Recently, following a petition signed by over 300 fans, DC United became the first Major League Soccer team to create a video where United players Josh Wolff and Clyde Simms urge teens to find people they trust to confide in, that they are not alone in their struggle, and that, each day, it gets better.
DC United’s involvement with the LGBT community goes further than the video, with the club hosting the upcoming United’s Night Out, a match against Chivas USA organized by the Federal Triangles Soccer Club, a lesbian/gay/bi soccer club in the DC area. The match will be held Wednesday, September 21st at RFK stadium and tickets are $25. Chivas USA has also been supportive of LGBT rights with players Justin Braun and Michael Lahoud being the first MLS players to participate in the NOH8 campaign as well as hosting an equality night in July. By creating this video, DC United becomes the first non-Major League Baseball team to participate in the “It Gets Better” project. Currently there are no openly gay athletes in any of the 5 biggest American sports and homophobia exists in football/soccer around the globe as we have consistently highlighted. But professional teams raising awareness could help not only show young people that their sports idols are intolerant of discrimination but also to lessen the stigma of homosexuality in sports for a new generation.
Ticket information can be found here.