August 16, 2012 | by Kevin Majoros
United we stand

From left, Jim Ensor, David Nation and JC Cummings. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

On Sept. 15, the Federal Triangles Soccer Club in conjunction with D.C. United will host the third annual United Night OUT at RFK Stadium as the D.C. United take on the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m.

The event is part of the popular Night OUT Series presented by Team D.C., which aims to promote sports within the LGBT community. The past year has seen events with the Nationals, the Mystics, the Wizards, the Kastles, the Capitals and D.C. United.

Tickets are available at Nellie’s Sports Bar and unitednightout.com for $25 and ticket holders will have access to the Champion’s Club from 6:30 p.m. throughout the game. The Club will also be selling $30 tickets in the raucous supporter section sideline seats. Contact info@unitednightout.com for the $30 tickets.

D.C. United, a pro soccer team based in the District, has generously offered to donate a portion of each ticket to D.C. based non-profit Food & Friends, whose mission is to foster a community caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling.

D.C. United has a long history of supporting the LGBT community. The group was an early and avid supporter of the Club when they hosted the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association World Championships in 1997 and again in 2009.

Last year, D.C. United released a much-lauded “It Gets Better” video which showed a few of their players taking some major hits on the field. They were the first Major League Soccer team to participate in the anti-bullying campaign founded by Dan Savage.

Currently D.C. United is in talks to film a video for the “You Can Play” campaign, which was launched this year by straight sports ally Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League.

The You Can Play campaign is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. Its organizers are working to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.

They also aim to rid professional sports of casual homophobia in the locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

Group participation levels for United Night OUT are:

Team Captain (10 tickets) — recognition on the website and one raffle ticket to win a United jersey.

Supporter’s Club (25 tickets) — live link on the website, recognition on the scrolling ticker at the stadium, representation on the field during the halftime spotlight and two raffle tickets to win a United jersey.

Community Partners (50 tickets) — logo and live link on the website, recognition on the scrolling ticker at the stadium, representation on the field during the halftime spotlight, one spot in the Superstar T-Shirt Toss (limited to 15 groups) and five raffle tickets to win a United jersey.

The United Night OUT event comes on the heels of the culmination of the third year of the Summer of Freedom League, D.C.’s first and only LGBT soccer league hosted by the Triangles. The final games of the season are on Tuesday from 6-11 p.m. at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus (Bell Lincoln High). Tuesday is also Fan Appreciation Night and there will be a 15 minute drag soccer match at 9:30 p.m.

The Freedom League’s soccer players will converge on Nellie’s Sports Bar on Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m. for their season ending festivities and the official ticket launch for United Night OUT.  Look for an appearance by one of the D.C. United players at the ticket launch.

Tickets are available at Nellies and online at unitednight.com.

 

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