Earlier in the week, we FanShot'ed an article from Outsports, SB Nation's blog focusing on the LGBT community. To sum up, the New England Revolution as well as the other four major sports teams have pledged their support to a Massachusetts bill that would extend transgender rights in public places like sports stadiums and arenas.
The Revolution confirmed their support for the bill but did offer an additional statement for this story. The bill is sponsored by Freedom Massachusetts, and this is a stance that is echoed from the Revs supporters groups.
"The Midnight Riders are very proud to support an organization that recognizes fans come from all walks of life and deserve to be respected equally both in the world of soccer and beyond," President Fran Harrington said in the statement.
Midnight Rider member Adam Sell has recently run recent editions of the groups Pride Night at Gillette Stadium, and a modified "Pride Flag of New England" (shown above) can be seen from the Supporter's Section "The Fort" at every home game.
"The Midnight Riders have long been advocates of players and fans throughout the LGBT spectrum. The team's support of the transgender rights bill is an encouraging sign, and it makes us proud to be Revs fans," said Sell. "Soccer is for everyone, and the Revs standing up for this community is a great reminder of that fact."
Brendan Schimmel, one of the leaders of The Rebellion and good friend of The Bent Musket also offered a strong statement in support of the Revs and equality for all soccer fans.
"Discrimination has no place on the field or in the stands. There has always been a climate of tolerance and inclusion in the Revs supporter community," said Schimmel. "We are proud to see that the rest of Boston's professional sports clubs are joining the Revs and thousands of other Bay Staters, in support of legislation that would expressly protect transgender people from discrimination in public spaces. The Rebellion stand for equality and inclusion, which is why you'll see the Pride Flag in the The Fort at every home match, that's why we participate in events like Pride Night."
Soccer still has its fair share of equality issues on and off the field, but the climate for athletes of the LGBT community are changing in professional soccer, especially in the United States. LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers came out as gay in 2013 while retiring from English club Leeds United; however, he came out of retirement, signing with the Galaxy and winning the MLS Cup championship in 2014. The US Women's national team features several openly gay players, including stars Megan Rapinoe and the recently-retired Abby Wambach.