Hello! I’m Austin da Luz, and I'd like to welcome you to year three of Playing for Pride. This June, the Playing for Pride team will be donating money to Athlete Ally for every game we play, and we want you to join in. Here's the donation breakdown: $5 per game played, $4 per assist, and $6 per goal. We donate, you match us. Easy enough, right?
Almost three years ago, I started this campaign out of a simple desire to take action. The LGBTQ community in my home state of North Carolina was under attack, and considering myself an ally with a small platform, I wanted to help. Fast forward a couple of years, and thanks to the grassroots support I’ve received from my fellow players, fans, coaches, and so many others, we’ve raised almost $40,000 and mobilized more than 100 professional soccer players from all over the world to stand up and speak out in support of the LGBTQ community. Watching Playing for Pride grow and seeing the effect that it’s had throughout the soccer community fills me with gratitude and hope. It also fills me with excitement about what’s next.
While the last few years have shown me the power of speaking up and taking a stand, I’ve also been reminded of what true allyship looks like. To me, true allyship is not performative or self congratulating. It’s about listening, learning, and amplifying the voices of those who need to be heard. As we move forward and Playing for Pride keeps growing my hope is that the players and supporters who choose to participate in Playing for Pride feel a responsibility to continue to educate themselves and those around them about the issues facing the LGBTQ community by listening to more LGBTQ voices, in turn giving them a larger platform to enact change. Athlete Ally does an amazing job of creating space for these stories to be told, and I couldn’t be more excited about continuing to help them do that. So while we’re Playing for Pride this June and beyond, let’s keep listening, learning, and lifting each other up!