Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seattle professional sports teams to support LGBT equality

Seattle Sounders FC held, in conjunction with its fellow Seattle professional sports teams and national nonprofit Athlete Ally, a coordinated commitment to supporting and celebrating LGBT equality ahead of team Pride Month activities. The efforts mark an unprecedented partnership between a city's professional sports teams as they join in a cooperative endeavor to stand in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and other lgbt community.

The Seattle Sounders joined fellow local professional sports teams — the NWSL's Reign, MLB's Mariners, NFL's Seahawks and WNBA's Storm — on Tuesday for a joint press conference to support LGBT equality.

The five franchises partnered with Athlete Ally, a national nonprofit committed to supporting LGBT equality in sports. Representatives from each team composed a panel that consisted of Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor and pro ambassador Mary Harvey, Mariners owner and CEO John Stanton, Storm owner Ginny Gilder, Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer, Seahawks General Counsel and Vice President of Government Affairs Ed Goines, Sounders defender Brad Evans and Reign forward Megan Rapinoe.

One of the largest obstacles facing closeted athletes around the world is the fear, and often potential danger, of coming out. For Evans, he takes it upon himself to make sure the Sounders locker room is as safe a space it can be and to also be an advocate for lesbian girls, gay boys, bisexual people in every capacity he can.

“I do feel obligated [to act] in all the right ways,” Evans said. “I feel like I have a duty to do what I think is right…I grew up in a household that was extremely inclusive. Everybody was always at our house, it was part of why I love being part of a team.”