Michael Bradley is a class act. Don’t believe me? Check out this rainbow-coloured armband he wore on Thursday night’s Copa America quarter final match against Ecuador to show his solidarity to the LGBT community and support for the victims of the Orlando Shooting.
The Copa America is a big tournament with a lot of people watching. Wearing a rainbow armband, the colours that are used as a symbol for the LGBT community, with the slogan “One Nation” on it rather than the word “Captain” was a big and bold move by the central midfielder and certainly helps bring awareness to the cause. It also shows that Bradley and the US National Team treat everyone equally and with respect, regardless of sexual orientation. This is the way that we need to live our world. The US National Soccer Team has a history of showing their support to the LGBT community. Robbie Rogers, the first ever openly gay male athlete in North America’s big five leagues, has featured 18 times for the country and has openly spoke out along with his national side and club team LA Galaxy, against FIFA’s willingness to support countries with anti-gay regimes such as future World Cup hosts Russia and Qatar. Only recently has FIFA taken action against anti-gay crowd cheering, thanks to the work of players like Rogers and the US National Team. The US Women’s Team also featured 2 openly gay players at the Women’s World Cup in 2015, Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach, both of whom are stars on the field and vocal activists for LGBT causes off the field. Soccer players are not just players, they are role models, and it is excellent when they go out of their way to be good role models as they have a tremendous amount of power as celebrities to create change in the world.
Bradley’s armband tribute is the latest of many from the US National Team since the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse that left 49 people dead. The US National Team have also shown their solidarity with the LGBT community by changing their slogan from “One Nation, One Team” to just “One Nation” and releasing a video showing their support to the family’s of the victims and emphasizing national unity after the tragic event occurred earlier this week. Well done Michael Bradley!