The Phoenix Rising professional soccar team, who are regular USL Championship winners, gave an epic response to a homophobic comment about 'staight pride' on their Twitter page.
The team initially tweeted about their upcoming game against the San Diego Loyal. In September 2020, the entire San Diego Loyal team walked off the field in protest after a Phoenix Rising player threw a homophobic slur at a San Diego player.
As a result, Rising and Loyal took initiative to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community in a Pride centered game.
"𝙇𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙚𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣." We are proud to announce our LGBTQ+ Initiatives alongside… https://t.co/unwSAh8vS2— San Diego Loyal (@San Diego Loyal) 1619733624.0
No other choice for captain. #RisingAsOne | @Asante20Magic https://t.co/0DKUN9FfW6— Phoenix Rising FC (@Phoenix Rising FC) 1619820000.0
A Twitter user who's since deleted their account, asked Phoenix Rising:
"when is straight pride night?"
Rising was quick to shut it down.
@Cardona_222 We’ll let you know when we have a**hole night and we can honor you at halftime.— Phoenix Rising FC (@Phoenix Rising FC) 1619800969.0
Their opponents on the San Diego Loyal and many others responded with support.
@PHXRisingFC Love this.— San Diego Loyal (@San Diego Loyal) 1619806358.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆— Sarah Kezele (@Sarah Kezele) 1619803446.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 Give the admin a raise!— Jeff Rueter (@Jeff Rueter) 1619804104.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 https://t.co/WZdYfzOSNo— Orange County SC (@Orange County SC) 1619804997.0
@PHXRisingFC This right here is amazing. New follow. I know how good you are now I know how great the organization… https://t.co/fQjounwCvv— Sean Murphy (@Sean Murphy) 1619819661.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 king https://t.co/LhKU7GYl9i— Matthew Doyle (@Matthew Doyle) 1619809522.0
@PHXRisingFC @kfitz134 @Cardona_222 Can I emcee this?!?!— Kristen Keogh (@Kristen Keogh) 1619811239.0
@PHXRisingFC @kfitz134 @Cardona_222 Well done @PHXRisingFC - proud of you for taking a firm stand on equality and civil rights for everyone.— Collin Yourbs (@Collin Yourbs) 1619811445.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 We're buying Admin the first round Tonight 🍻 *after they concede, of course! ⚽️… https://t.co/AF5Eat0HGI— San.Diego's_Loyal .🌈.Rainbow.Fans (@San.Diego's_Loyal .🌈.Rainbow.Fans) 1619806276.0
@PHXRisingFC @Cardona_222 👏— The Miami FC (@The Miami FC) 1619802012.0
Though they are huge supporters of the LGBTQ+ community now, it wasn't always that way.
Initially, Rick Schantz, head coach of the Phoenix Rising, didn't seem to take the slur seriously. Since then, Schantz has learned a lot.
In an interview with Outsports, he said:
"I'm starting to understand how the LGBTQ community has been treated, from laws and government to sports environments, and it's a whole different world."
"When you change from tolerance to acceptance, it's a big step. And I want to go from acceptance to someday being a real ally. But before that, I know I have a lot of amends to make."
Since the Rising's viral Twitter moment, they have continued to hype their #ForeverProud event and supporting LTBGQ+ community issues while partnering with LGBTQ+ organizations.
We are #ForeverProud 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/nVJw451R8A— USL Championship (@USL Championship) 1620064811.0