North Carolina Soccer Club Partners with Raleigh LGBT Center, Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce and Athlete Ally to Celebrate Pride

North Carolina Soccer Club Partners with Raleigh LGBT Center, Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce and Athlete Ally to Celebrate Pride

Plans include a Pride festival, community-partnered events, and Pride-themed merchandise to benefit local LGBTQ organizations.

Cary, North Carolina (June 1, 2022) – The North Carolina Football Club has announced plans to celebrate Pride in partnership with the Raleigh LGBT Center and Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerceincluding Pride Night games for North Carolina FC on Saturday July 9 and for NC Courage on Friday July 15.

“Our club is proud to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, including our fans and players, this June and throughout the year,” said North Carolina Football Club President Francie Gottsegen. “We are thrilled to announce this initiative – powered by local and national organizations – which includes community, stadium and digital programs designed to celebrate and unite our diverse fan base.”

FESTIVALS

The club will host a Pride festival on Friday, July 15 ahead of Courage’s game against Angel City at 7:30 p.m. ET. The festival will take place at WakeMed Soccer Park and will feature local LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ businesses, artists and performers, as well as kid-friendly activities. The festival will also include members of Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce, a mission-driven nonprofit that promotes opportunities for businesses, professionals, and LGBTQ+ allies.

“We appreciate and applaud North Carolina Football Club‘s continued commitment and support to the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year!” said Kade Kimber, president of Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce. “We know the courage it takes for so many LGBTQ+ individuals and business owners to live their truth openly every day. We look forward to celebrating this unwavering courage alongside our allies in the inclusive and supportive environment that Pride Night embodies. After all, #CourageUnitesUs!”

During Courage’s Pride game against Angel City on July 15, NC Courage players will wear Pride jerseys, in addition to Pride pre-game tops before the game.

“I am excited about the club’s plans and commitment to celebrating Pride this season and for years to come,” said Courage defender Merritt Mathias. “Witnessing the evolution of the league’s pride celebration as a whole is a beautiful thing to experience. When I first entered the league 10 years ago, the platform to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community was very different for this league, its players and its fans. Today, having the support of every club to participate in a Pride Game means nothing… it means everything. Representation issues. Inclusivity matters. We count.

NCFC players will also wear Pride pre-game tops ahead of their Pride celebration game on Saturday, July 9 against Union Omaha at 7 p.m. ET.

“Celebrating Pride Month is very important,” said NCFC captain Jordan Skelton. “Any opportunity we have to build equality and share love between us is of great importance, and Pride Month allows us to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Players, coaches, staff and fans all play a part in North Carolina FC, and so it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to unite, celebrate and welcome everyone – and I mean absolutely everyone – into the NCFC family.

MERCHANDISE

NC Courage Pride jerseys, as well as team-specific Courage and NCFC Pride t-shirts and scarves, will be available for purchase online and in-stadium throughout the year, with proceeds going to the LGBT Center at Raleigh.

LOCAL COMMUNITY EVENTS

The club will participate in apex pride festival on June 11, the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Pride festival, OUT! Raleigh, on June 25 and other Triangle area pride festivals throughout the year. The club’s Pride initiatives will also include celebrating LGBTQ History Month in October, National Coming Out Day on October 11, as well as partnerships with local GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances).

“The North Carolina Football Club does so much to celebrate the LGBTQ+ communities and demonstrate its commitment to full equality for all LGBTQ+ people,” notes Dolph Goldenburg, Acting Executive Director of the Raleigh LGBT Center, “And we We are delighted to partner with NCFC on this important initiative.”

DIGITAL ACTIVATIONS

The club will create player roundtables around inclusivity, streamed live on Instagram and hosted by Allied athletean organization focused on building inclusive communities for LGBTQI+ athletes through sport.

“Athlete Ally is grateful to partner with North Carolina Football Club this Pride, including through critical discussions about how athletes can advance LGBTQI+ inclusion in and through sport,” said the CEO. office of Athlete Ally, AC Dumlao. “We have seen the power athletes can have in mobilizing the sport community to champion equality, and we are honored to have the opportunity to maximize impact together.”

The club has also partnered with EDGE Multimedia Network, the world’s largest network of local LGBTQ+ news and entertainment publications, to highlight player and club stories in a series of editorial articles written throughout the season. Other media support includes the club sponsoring a curated list of local LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ friendly businesses in RalTodaythe digital newsletter of.

NCFC Pride Game Tickets at Saturday, July 9 at 7 p.m. ET against Union Omaha are available here. Courage Pride Match Tickets at Friday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET against Angel City can be purchased here.

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About the North Carolina Courage:

The North Carolina Courage is a Division I professional women’s soccer team that plays in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). NC Courage plays home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The team was created in January 2017 after owner Steve Malik acquired the Western New York Flash after their 2016 NWSL Championship season and moved the team to North Carolina. Since moving to Cary, NC Courage have won three consecutive NWSL Shields, the inaugural ICC Women’s Championship, the 2018 and 2019 NWSL Championships and the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup Championship.

About North Carolina FC:

North Carolina FC is a professional men’s soccer team that plays in the USL League One. The NCFC plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The organization is the largest youth-to-professional club in the nation and is the parent organization of North Carolina FC, North Carolina Courage (NWSL), and North Carolina FC Youth. The club is owned by local entrepreneur, Steve Malik, and managed by club chairwoman Francie Gottsegen and long-serving director of football Curt Johnson. The North Carolina Football Club was established in 2016 to bring the highest levels of men’s and women’s professional soccer to the state.

About the Raleigh LGBT Center

The Raleigh LGBT Center exists to serve, empower and advocate for the well-being of our diverse LGBTQ+ communities. We work to achieve our mission through six program initiatives, each with its own unique focus, but with significant overlap between initiatives:

Youth and family initiative

Initiative for the elderly

Transgender initiative

Queer Life Initiative

HealthWorks Initiative

· Education and training initiative

About Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce

Harmony: NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce (formerly RBPN) is the official affiliate chapter of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) responsible for the LGBT+ business and professional community in the 50 eastern counties of Carolina North. Harmony fosters opportunities for businesses, professionals, and LGBT+ allies to come together to support business growth, education, and connectivity.

Supported by hundreds of individuals, businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations and business partners, Harmony helps give voice to a historically marginalized community that is a vital part of the economy and society. North Carolina workforce! For more information, visit www.harmonianc.org.

About Allied Athlete

As a leading national non-profit organization working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQI+ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQI+ people in sport. Athlete Ally educates individuals and institutions to understand the barriers to LGBTQI+ inclusion and how they can create an inclusive culture within their sport communities. They ensure that sports governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents, and they incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQI+ equality in and through sport.

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