Welcome to the Playing for Pride fundraising page. I'm very glad you're here. My name is Austin da Luz, and chances are you were directed to this page by one of our many fantastic Playing for Pride team members. So what exactly are we doing here? Good question. This season the Playing for Pride team will be donating money to Athlete Ally for every game we play, and we want you to join in. Here's the donation breakdown: $5 per game played, $4 per assist, and $6 per goal. We donate, you match us. Easy enough, right?
So, why Athlete Ally? And, more broadly, why do this at all? Well, first of all Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQ people in sport. They educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. They have a few amazing initiatives happening this year that I think deserve our support. Here’s a few:
- Launching an online curriculum that helps train coaches on LGBTQ respect and inclusion. Research shows that 84% of people have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports, so I think we can all agree this education is needed!
- Launching the next phase of their Athletic Equality Index -- a report that measures the LGBTQ-inclusiveness of college athletic departments. This type of transparency leads to accountability, and sport bodies taking LGBTQ equality seriously.
- Expanding their Ambassador and college chapter programs. Athlete Ally has over 35 college chapters across the country, run by passionate student-athletes. These funds help support athlete activism at all levels of sport, and helping athletes use their platform with a purpose.
As for the bigger "why?" Well, the world is a crazy place, and nothing feels worse than doing nothing. We're living in an era of activism, and seeing people all over the country dive headfirst into causes that they care about inspired me to do the same, while trying to provide others with an easy way to follow suit. We all love soccer, why not just add in charitable giving? Within that act of giving is a powerful statement that we're willing to fight for the people and ideas that we believe in.
Now, I am completely amazed at the response we received in our first year of Playing for Pride, and I think year two can be even better! We've had supporters groups, journalists, front office personnel, youth players, and individual fans come up with their own donation breakdowns for the season. Which is to say that our donation scale is merely a recommendation. We want you to get creative. You can match one player for the season, pick a different player every week, come up with your own scale, or donate randomly just for the heck of it. Have fun with it. As long as you're contributing and supporting the cause, we're all on the same team.
I look forward to another exciting Playing for Pride season! Keep spreading the word on social media. Tweet at players, clubs, and even leagues that you think would be good members of the team. You can get more updates and info from @playingforpride on twitter. Alright, that's all for now. Let's gooooo.