Pride Month is underway, and for the Seahawks and other Seattle sports franchises, this month is an opportunity to support the LGBTQ+ community, promote acceptance and create awareness.
More specifically, the Seahawks, OL Reign, Kraken, Mariners, Sounders FC and Storm are teaming up to support gender-inclusive youth sports with support of the Washington State Interscholastic Activities Association and its newly-released gender-inclusive toolkit for leaders who interact with athletes throughout the state. The six teams are also partnering with Intentionalist in a month-long program to drive support for local LGBTQ+-owned small business.
"We believe in respect, inclusivity and equity for all," Seahawks president Chuck Arnold said. "As leaders and role models for youth in our community, we are proud to come together with our local professional sports teams to support Pride Month and stand beside the WIAA in their mission to make Washington state athletics a place where all youth feel like they are welcome."
The free, digital gender-inclusive toolkit was designed by experts and the WIAA and Gender Diversity, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender diversity. The toolkit is available for all youth coaches, K-12 teachers and administrators and parents in Washington State. The toolkit can be downloaded at wiaa.com/dei, and helps address the national dialogue around transgender and nonbinary students, teaching best practices and providing resources to assist in the development of supportive and non-discriminatory environments for young people..
"By providing an inclusive toolkit, coaches and administrators can take confident, educated steps towards creating the most safe and welcoming environment for all youth who are interested in participating in any sport at any level," said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. "The support and amplification of this resource from the Seattle pro sports community is essential in its impact and ensures that Washington state, as a whole, continues to be an inclusive place for all to play."
To support the toolkit, the six Seattle-area sports teams created a public service announcement that will be shared on team platforms and used statewide by the WIAA. The PSA can be downloaded for media use here and features the following representatives: Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC midfielder), Quinn (OL Reign midfielder), Dave Hunter (Seattle Kraken Pro Scout), Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners right fielder), Scott Servais (Seattle Mariners Manager), Karen Wilkins-Mickey (Seattle Seahawks, VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm guard), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm guard) and Mick Hoffman (WIAA Executive Director).
As part of the "Spend With Pride" campaign, the Seahawks are supporting three local LGBTQ+-owned restaurants: Belltown's Taqueria Cantina, Madrona's Shikorina Pastries and Capitol Hill's Two Doors Down. To show support during the campaign, the Seahawks will visit each of the restaurants with Mascot Blitz and Seahawks personalities to host a Seahawks Instagram takeover with the owners of the restaurants. In addition, the Seahawks will host a conversation with Seattle sports teams, Intentionalist and other LGBTQ+ owned small businesses, encouraging fans to "Spend with Pride" throughout the month of June and beyond.
Fans of all teams will be encouraged to visit Intentionalist.com/Spend-With-Pride to view a list of local businesses taking part in the promotion. Throughout the month, fans can upload receipts from these businesses for chances to win jerseys or team prize packs from each team. Each time a receipt is uploaded, fans can select with team prize pack they would like to enter to win.
Throughout the month the Seahawks will also donate more than $10,000 to support LGBTQ+ organizations, including Seattle Pride Parade, The Ryan O'Callaghan Foundation, and Athlete Ally.
And each night from June 21 through June 27, both Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park will light their rooftop arches in rainbow colors to celebrate Pride. Seahawks fans will also notice Pride-themed avatars across Seahawks social media channels throughout the month of June.
To learn more about how you can support and participate, visit Seahawks.com/socialjustice.