Toronto FC are having the club’s first ever Pride Night at BMO Field, as the team host the New England Revolution on Friday, June 23 at 8 pm. The night will feature pre-match festivities with Pride All for One flags leading the teams out onto the pitch, as well as a Pride flag in the south end will be displayed in support of You Can Play.

FC Captain Michael Bradley wasn’t in the lineup due to a prior infraction, however he’s previously showed his support for the LGBT community when he wore a rainbow coloured armband in a Copa America match last year, days after the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting. Revolution Captain Lee Nguyen was wearing a similar armband in this Pride Night game. The fan energy was amazing, with one section specifically noted for being a standing section. FC won the game 2-0.

Throughout the day, Toronto FC will promote inclusion in sport in a variety of ways. Members of You Can Play will be hosted and involved in pre-match ceremonies, including the match ball delivery and Toronto FC’s June community MVP presentation to player Jozy Altidore. During the match, a You Can Play table will be set up in the concourse to provide fans with more information about the cause, and a public service announcement featuring Toronto FC players and coaches will be shown in-arena and shared on Toronto FC digital media channels.

The night supports MLS WORKS’ Don’t Cross The Line campaign, which emphasizes the league’s commitment to end discrimination of any kind and promotes an atmosphere of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout the soccer community. In addition, Toronto FC has partnered with You Can Play, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.

“Toronto FC is honored to welcome fans to BMO Field on Pride Night,” said Bill Manning, President, Toronto FC. “Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is an organization that prides itself on being inclusive; no matter a person’s race, religion, age, creed or sexual orientation.”

“Partnering with Toronto FC to host this Pride Night is showing players, coaches, and fans in Toronto and across MLS that discrimination of any kind has no place in soccer, because if you can play, you can play,” said Jillian Svensson, Vice President of Development & Operation, You Can Play.

All tickets purchased using the promo code YOUCANPLAY will see $5 from each ticket sold donated to You Can Play to support athletes in the LGBTQ community. The first 100 fans to purchase the ticket deal will also receive a pride scarf.

About the You Can Play Project:
You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on the athlete’s skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

About Don’t Cross the Line:
Major League Soccer is dedicated to supporting the communities where we live and play our games, and to providing an environment in which our staff, clubs, players partner and supports are treated with dignity and respect. Don’t Cross the Line emphasizes the League’s commitment to end discrimination of any kind and promotes an atmosphere of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout the soccer community. 

 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.