San Diego, CA (June 1, 2021) – To kick off 2021’s Pride Month, San Diego Loyal SC (SD Loyal) announced today the debut of their “Loud & Proud” fan section as part of their new partnership with San Diego Pride (SD Pride). SD Loyal’s new game day initiative is said to be the first-ever in sports history.
For all of SD Loyal’s home matches in their 2021 season, USD’s Torero Stadium dedicates section 110 to those within the LGBTQ community, as well as those who support and share the vision of inclusion in professional sports. The section, permanently decorated with Pride-related elements, collects 20 percent of ticket sales and donates to SD Pride to help with their mission to foster pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities locally, nationally and globally.
"Much of the vital work left to be done to combat LGBTQ discrimination in athletic spaces includes protecting the most vulnerable of our population by stopping bullying and harassment in playgrounds, P.E. classes and youth sports programs,” said San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Z. López. “That fight must be led by LGBTQ athletes which necessitates having supportive parents, coaches, teachers, team owners, managers and fans in the stadium. That is why I'm humbled by Collin Martin's bravery as an out athlete and honored to partner with San Diego Loyal who is leading by example."
SD Loyal’s midfielder Collin Martin came out as gay in 2018. He was reported at the time to be the only active male professional soccer player to be openly gay. Martin and Coach Landon Donovan made international headlines in 2020 when they led the team walking off the pitch in protest over homophobic slur.
Additionally, SD Loyal is in the process of working with a LGBTQ artist to create a special merchandise line including a scarf, socks and shirt with 20 percent of sales donated to SD Pride.
While celebrations will take place all season long, SD Loyal proudly celebrates the partnership at Torero Stadium on June 19 and July 24. On June 19, the club plans to gather up to 100 LGBTQ athletes from different sports leagues within the community prior to kick off to walk around the pitch before making their way to the “Loud & Proud” section for the first time in SD Loyal history. Additionally, SD Loyal plans to dedicate the July 24 match as Pride Night and looks forward to announcing what the night will entail in a couple of weeks.
For those interested in purchasing tickets for any of the upcoming matches in the “Loud & Proud” section -- and donating to SD Pride -- please click here. For any questions on SD Loyal’s partnership with SD Pride, please visit sdloyal.com/pride.