United Soccer Coaches launches Play With Pride initiative

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (August 15, 2017) - In June, the United States men’s and women’s national teams celebrated LGBT Pride Month by wearing jerseys with rainbow numbers.

This September, high school and college teams across the country can show their support for athletes and coaches of all sexual orientations by wearing rainbow laces. Play With Pride is a new initiative from United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) developed by the association’s LGBT Coaches and Allies Member Group.

Free rainbow laces are available upon request for all United Soccer Coaches members at the high school and collegiate level. Non-members interested in taking part in the program can sign up for a six-month trial membership at no cost or take advantage of a $15 discount on new memberships purchased during the month of August.

UPDATE: Our full allotment of laces has been reached and requests are no longer being accepted. Thanks to all who will be participating in Play With Pride week!

From September 18-24, players and coaches are encouraged to wear the rainbow laces during matches and post on social media with the hashtag #PlayWithPride to promote their team’s participation in Play With Pride week. In addition, United Soccer Coaches will provide a toolkit to all participants to help each team promote their participation in this nationwide effort.

“Our association has the amazing ability to unite every coach at every level at every field across the nation,” said United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel. “Play With Pride is one more way to highlight the enormous diversity and inclusiveness of both our association and our sport.”

“Soccer is an amazingly diverse sport,” adds Dan Woog, chair of the United Soccer Coaches LGBT Coaches and Allies Member Group. “That diversity includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender coaches, players, support staff, referees and fans. This is a simple, effective and very colorful way to send the message that every person, associated with every team, is valued and respected.”

For more information, contact United Soccer Coaches operations coordinator Andrew Dahir or LGBT Coaches and Allies Member Group chair Dan Woog.