SEATTLE, Wash. – In celebration of Pride month, Seattle's pro sports teams – the Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, OL Reign, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Seawolves, Seattle Sounders FC, and Seattle Storm – are coming together to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community and encourage gender-inclusivity for youth in sports, in an effort to make Washington state the most inclusive place for youth sports participation in the country.
Representatives from each team will jointly walk together in the Seattle Pride Parade and invite fans of all ages to attend and watch along the parade route. The Seattle Pride Parade will take place Sunday, June 26 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., beginning at 4th & Pike and ending at 2nd Ave & Denny Way in downtown Seattle. Walking alongside the teams in the parade will also be representatives from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). Last year, the teams jointly announced public support for the WIAA and its Gender Diverse Inclusivity Toolkit, a resource guide for inclusive youth sport best practices, for leaders who interact with youth athletes across the state.
"Seattle Pride is so excited to have all our Seattle sports teams coming together to march in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community at the Seattle Pride Parade as we fight for a future in which authenticity is embraced, diversity is celebrated, mutual respect is defended and equal human rights is achieved year-round," said Seattle Pride Executive Director, Krystal Marx. "It demonstrates to the LGBTQIA+ community that they are welcome in athletics and that sports are for the enjoyment of everyone. We are excited to continue to work with the teams year-round for our Out to Play initiative."
Each team is supporting Pride month and participation in the Seattle Pride Parade in unique ways, including:
Over 90 Seattle Kraken staff and their families are excited to march alongside Seattle's best with the "Pride Runs Deep" Zamboni in the Pride Parade this year. Additionally, the Kraken are incredibly proud to continue supporting our LGBTQ+ community throughout June with the new "Pride Runs Deep" merch line on sale at all team stores. Earlier in the month, the Kraken hosted a Pride Month kickoff happy hour at 32 Bar and Grill presented in partnership with Symetra and hosted Pride-themed public skates at Kraken Community Iceplex, which was home to this year's Seattle Pride Hockey Classic.
The Mariners will have over 100 staff, family and friends walking in the parade alongside the Mariner Moose, while DJ Hershe plays live music along the parade route. Staff will be handing out Mariners Pride wristbands, hats, fanny packs, temporary tattoos, and koozies. On Thursday, June 30, the Mariners will host Pride Night presented by T-Mobile. Each ticket purchased through the team's Mariners.com/Pride special, will receive a Mariners Pride Night short sleeve hoodie. $5 from every ticket sold through this special will benefit GSBA scholarship funds. Additionally, for every Mariners Dog sold at Pride Night, the Mariners Care Foundation will donate $1 to GSBA. At the game, fans can enjoy a pregame event in The 'Pen with a live DJ, face painting, raffle prizes, and a number of photo opportunities ahead of Dale Scott, former MLB Umpire and Author of "The Umpire is OUT – calling the game and living my true self" throwing the first pitch. The first 10,000 fans through the gate will receive a Mariners Pride Cap, courtesy of Alaska Airlines. Each night from June 20-30, T-Mobile Park's rooftop lights will be lit in rainbow colors to celebrate Pride, and the Pride flag will be displayed in centerfield throughout the month of June.
OL Reign is thrilled to continue a commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride month and beyond. Kicking off festivities at the Seattle Pride Parade, members of the team and front office will join in on the June 26 march. Celebrations will continue during OL Reign's annual Pride Match on July 1, as fans are welcomed with multiple match day experiences and players from the club will wear Pride-themed jerseys. The match-worn jerseys will be auctioned off to support LGBTQIA+ causes, in addition to signed custom-designed warm up shirts that read "Protect Trans Kids". OL Reign will soon be launching its entire 2022 Pride Collection later this month.
The Seahawks and Lumen Field front office staff, their families and friends will walk together in the parade along with Seahawks Dancers and Blue Thunder. Staff will be handing out Seahawks Pride sunglasses and 12 Flags along the parade route. This June, the Seahawks will support the Lavender Rights Project, which provides legal and social advocacy to black gender diverse people across Washington state. The Seahawks will be donating 12% of all Seahawks Pride gear sold at Seahawks Pro Shops in June to the Lavender Rights Project, along with 100% of proceeds from select autographed items sold on the Seahawks' online auction site in June. Fans can also donate to the Lavender Rights Project at Pro Shop checkout. The Seahawks recently walked in the Yakima Pride Parade as part of the team's annual 12 Tour, with Blue Thunder, Seahawks Dancers, Mascot Blitz, DJ Supa Sam, along with players and legends. Each night from June 21-26, Lumen Field's distinctive rooftop arches will be lit in rainbow colors to celebrate Pride. Later this year, the Seahawks will host the team's first-ever Pride Night at their home preseason game on August 18 vs. the Chicago Bears.
The Seattle Seawolves strive to develop, cultivate, and expand the sport of rugby in the US while empowering family, tradition, respect, and a spirit of inclusion both on and off the pitch. Rugby is one of the most inclusive sports in the world –– welcoming all walks of life, shapes, sizes, and genders to play our game in the same uniform, with the same rules, with the same equipment. Although unavailable to partake in this year's Pride Parade due to a third Major League Rugby Championship appearance taking place June 25, the Seawolves are proud to partner with Seattle Pride as we continue to welcome all community members to our pod.
Seattle Sounders FC
Ahead of the club's annual Pride Match, presented by Starbucks, both Sounders FC and OL Reign players are coming together with Starbucks and youth from WIAA to hoist a giant Progress Pride flag atop Lumen Field on Friday, June 24. The flag will fly through July 1 for both Sounders FC's and OL Reign's pride-centered matches. On Saturday, June 25, the Rave Green take on Sporting Kansas City and the day's match will feature a host of activities celebrating Pride. The team's giant SEATTLE letters will be wrapped for Pride, providing fans with a bright photo op, while Frelard Tamales – a Latinx and LGBTQ+-owned restaurant based in the Green Lake neighborhood and specializing in handmade tamales – is featured with a special pop-up location in the East Concourse and special Pride retail items are available in the Lumen Field Pro Shop. Additionally, youth from Washington Interscholastic Activities Association are serving as the day's ball kids. On the field, players are wearing Pride warmup tops and Progress Pride flag-inspired jersey numbers and captain armband, in addition to Pride-themed corner flags. On Sunday, Sounders FC staff, supporters and Sound Wave join the celebration at the Seattle Pride Parade, marching alongside OL Reign and the Seattle pro sports community, as well as with WIAA athletes, coaches, athletic directors and those who have been positively impacted by the Gender Diverse Youth Sports Inclusivity Toolkit.
The Seattle Storm welcomed the month of June with its long-standing tradition of observing Pride month in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The four-time WNBA champion launched a Pride merch line benefiting Seattle Children's Gender Clinic and is hosting Pride Night presented by AT&T on June 25, in addition to having staff marching in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 26.
Commitment to furthering inclusivity in sports, especially for youth, is an initiative the teams have committed to jointly supporting together as a Seattle sports community. In June 2021, the Seattle Seahawks, OL Reign, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders FC and Seattle Storm, jointly announced public support for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) and its gender-inclusive toolkit for leaders who interact with youth athletes across the state. Designed by experts at WIAA and Gender Diversity, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender diversity, the free, digital toolkit is available for all youth coaches, K-12 teachers and administrators and parents in Washington State. As the presence of gender diverse students increases on athletic teams and in classes and other activities, continued efforts toward inclusive practices and education are vital in the creation of an equitable playing field.
About the support, the WIAA said: "The WIAA is thankful for the ongoing partnership with Seattle Pro Sports for supporting our school aged students that pursue athletics and activities. Providing opportunities for all students to thrive in an environment that is equitable, safe and inspiring is vital to our community. Thank you for your efforts to amplify our voice."
Intentionalist - #SpendWithPride
The Seattle sports teams are also partnering with Intentionalist to encourage the community to visit and buy from local LGBTQ-owned small businesses. Through the Receipt & Receive campaign, fans upload their receipts from LGBTQ-owned small businesses for the chance to win prizes from each of the sports teams. The teams are also sponsoring a 20% discount on gift certificates to LGBTQ-owned small businesses so that fans can #SpendWithPride and save while LGBTQ-owned small businesses receive 100% of gift certificate sales.
For more information on the Seattle Pride Parade, visit seattlepride.org.
During our second day of 12 Tour, presented by Safeway, we marched in the Yakima Pride Parade, celebrated Juneteenth in Kennewick, WA, and visited the PLAYLive Nation Arcade to play video games against the 12s.