Before the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando City SC have announced “Pride in Our City” initiatives that'll be centered around their June 22 match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The tragedy occurred on June 12, 2016, with 49 people killed during a mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando. Among other tributes to those who lost their lives, 49 rainbow-colored seats were installed at Exploria Stadium several years ago as a permanent memorial.
The Pride Month initiatives will also be part of the organization’s NWSL team, the Orlando Pride, who host NJ/NY Gotham FC for a June 20 game at Exploria Stadium.
“The tragedy at Pulse was something that impacted so many close to us, our club and our community,” CEO Alex Leitao said in a release. "Five years ago, we were so proud to be able to play a part in bringing the city of Orlando together, to show how strong our neighbors are, and we are proud that we are still able to do that today.
"Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride are teams that celebrate and champion diversity every day of the year, but we are especially honored to be able to use our June games to not only celebrate Pride Month but to use our platforms to raise money and awareness for causes that are near and dear to the hearts of Orlando."
Orlando United | The Movement presented by AT&T
Orlando’s captain will wear a rainbow armband, while the club’s “Thick N Thin” primary jersey will feature rainbow numbers and a specialty jersey patch that’s located in the center of the chest.
Further, the Lions will sport adidas’ “Love Unites” rainbow tops for warmups.
The Orlando City Foundation will auction a number of items to raise money for local organizations and events, with proceeds supporting the Foundation’s diversity and LBGTQ+-related initiatives. The items include autographed and match-worn jerseys, the specialty captain’s armband and a June 22 gameday poster.
Orlando will donate six seats from Exploria Stadium’s #OrlandoUnited section to the National Pulse Memorial & Museum’s permanent collection. The six seats will include six different colors, then they’ll be replaced by new seats of the same color to maintain the Section 12 tribute.
Items for sale
Orlando City rainbow numbers will be available for purchase/customization. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of City’s “Love Unites” pre-match tops, specialty merchandise items, the CITYiD Patch and City gameday poster will be donated to the National Pulse Memorial & Museum.
Both matches will include gameday activations at Exploria Stadium to honor and pay tribute to the 49 victims of the Pulse tragedy, including recognizing their family members and Orlando Health staff members that aided the victims.