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.
A Twitter user who's since deleted their account, asked Phoenix Rising:
"when is straight pride night?"
Rising was quick to shut it down.
Their opponents on the San Diego Loyal and many others responded with support.
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.