The Unused Sub: I Stand With You


Don’t mind me as I am just thinking out loud, but I think I want a Sam Kerr jersey. I wonder who do I know that can make such arrangements happen. Hmm…


On Tuesday afternoon, I attended a press conference hosted by Athlete Ally in collaboration with the Seattle’s professional sports franchises, the Seattle Reign FC, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Storm, Seattle Mariners, and Seattle Seahawks. The goal of the presser was to show the broad community of sports in Seattle all united, standing in solidarity with the LGBT community and to affirm their shared commitment to advocacy and inclusion in sports through education and other public outreach.

It was a good day for the city of Seattle. It was a fun day for the city of Seattle. But it was also just plainly an important day for the city of Seattle.

When I received the press release last week about it, I was in awe. I was in awe because it is pretty much unprecedented for someone to gather the sports franchises of any major US city and have them unite on a message that is essential. Much less a message like this one. This was a direct clapback to that tired “stick to sports” adage people like to throw around on social media when an athlete expresses an opinion about politics or society.¬†

Seattle isn’t having any of that. Nope, not these sports franchises and the athletes that put on the jersey that represents this team, this city, and its people. Not with the platform of the public eye they have and the power of influence they wield with it. The effect sports has on a community and society is like that of an artist with a mound of clay. You can mold and shape it however you want it, whatever you want it to be.

For someone like me who came to America, who wasn’t born here, the spectacle that was professional sports was my introduction to American culture and how diverse it is. It didn’t start out that way for sure, but as I grew up I learned stories of those athletes who dared to challenge the status quo and change the world, with their athletic skill and with their public actions. People who advocated and effected change because they were aware of the power and influence they held. And it was from this history, American sports history, I understood what sports can do for people. How it can mold and shape people and their society.

Falling in love with soccer and convincing myself that I can somehow string a few words and sentences into something someone else will read has made me into a far more social person than I could ever imagine when I was a five-year-old foreigner fresh out of an airplane in some strange land called the United States of America. I saw Michael Jordan literally dunking on fools and was enthralled. Or when I was nine years old going on ten and the only world I ever knew was turned upside-down because my parents got a divorce. America’s past-time, baseball (specifically the Cinderella run of the 1995 Seattle Mariners) soothed the fracture of the divorce and my mom and I found something to share that helped us through that painful period of our lives. Or last year when I was celebrating my birthday (don’t ask for the number, I’m old, simple as that) and finally I got my parents to attend an NWSL match and they saw it. They got it. They understood why taking an interest in the beautiful game and covering specifically the women’s game became my thing. It was pure happenstance, but they understood that this was my hobby, my passion. Something to give me an identity and with it opening myself up to more different walks of life, different life stories, different world views, that they are proud to say have made me a better person.

It was a privilege to witness the press conference first-hand and to then have some small one on one conversations with those involved.  Some might say it is controversial. Some might say it is uncomfortable. However, the bottom line is, it is the right thing to do. It is the important thing to do. Who I am and some values of what I hold dear as what makes us good, decent people have been influenced by sport and how it brought me to connect with an individual or a group of people.

It’s through bringing people together with through sport, that maybe, just maybe, the communities we live in can become better places for all, regardless of color, religion, sexual or gender identity, or any other of the beautiful things that make us each entirely our own unique individuals.

I believe we can be better and this is something I do not hesitate to stand for and support those that feel and do the same.

Now that it is officially summer (June 21 was the official Summer Solstice day), it’s time for: Sun’s out, NWSL hotness out. Here’s this weekend’s predictions.

  • Orlando Pride OVER Houston Dash. (They might show better fitness or something, but Houston still isn’t winning.)
  • North Carolina Courage OVER Boston Breakers.
  • Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC play to a DRAW.
  • Seattle Reign FC OVER FC Kansas City.
  • Sky Blue FC OVER Chicago Red Stars.

And here is this week’s music video break.

Song: “Keep Shining” | Artist: Shad

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