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Nashville SC Presents a Night of Community PRIDE at GEODIS Park

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Nashville Soccer Club and the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce came together to celebrate PRIDE Month by hosting the official Nashville SC PRIDE Night at GEODIS Park on June 11, 2022 as the Tennessee club tried to shake up the San Jose Earthquakes. The event raised funds in support of programming and advocacy initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Nashville SC versus the San Jose Earthquakes.

"To have the ability to celebrate PRIDE and the LGBTQ+ community with this initiative is extremely special for our organization," said Nashville SC Head of Community Brandon Hill. "Our club and our league believe that Soccer is For All regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. We are committed to being the most inclusive of all sports leagues in North America, and this initiative is a great opportunity to show our support for LGBTQ+ athletes and individuals in Nashville and beyond."

Saturday evening featured music from PRIDE artists. The concourse of GEODIS Park was decorated with banners in support of the initiative. The Team Store also had a colorful array of PRIDE headbands, scarves, shirts, a PRIDE Gameday Poster and a commemorative PRIDE Patch. All proceeds from the patch were earmarked to LAUNCH PAD and Nashville SC will donate 10% of sales from the 2022 PRIDE collection to that organization.

Dax McCarty and Joe Willis return to the pitch after the international break.

LAUNCH PAD is a volunteer-based initiative that provides street-free sleep to displaced youths in Davidson Country between the ages of 18-24 with a focus on being affirming and welcoming to LGBTQIA+ youth - while also trying to work towards a more comprehensive system to address homelessness in the whole community.

Nashville SC is a proud member of their city. Many of the concession stands at GEODIS Park are local breweries and eateries. On the second tier near the suites is a wall of art with works from area artists that are for sale. The club also has a number of programs that focus on supporting youth and acknowledging heroes in the region.

As soccer fans know there is a lot of pageantry to the sport. Before start time a large Nashville SC flag was displayed across the field. On Saturday, Tempo the Mascot was waving a rainbow flag in support of PRIDE. The starting lineup was introduced and the national anthem was sung. SC also kicks off their matches with a guitar riff of the game as a salute to Music City. The club has a sizable and strong supporter section. They banged on drums and led the crowd in loud chants to cheer on the Boys in Gold.

Orange placards were raised in the supporters section for the victims of gun violence.

Despite all the noise for much of the first half the San Jose Earthquakes maintained possession of the ball and thwarted any of Nashville's attempts at the goal. For the second half, SC was much more aggressive but still could not obtain that winning touch. The battle ended in a tie but Nashville Soccer Club still extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 matches in all competitions with a scoreless draw.

Nashville SC at their new home at GEODIS Park provides an energized, family friendly, fun and inclusive environment. The still growing team is playing well and has a strong fan base but as we have read on the message boards getting in and out of the stadium has proven to be challenging for many and over time that could become a deterrent to attendance. Hopefully, when the construction in that area finishes there will be more routes or perhaps regular shuttle systems could be set-up. The team brings a lot to the community and PRIDE Night was a prime example of how Nashville SC connects with a broad base of fans while supporting local non-profits.

LEGENDARY MOMENTS: As the home schedule plays out we are quickly learning that unforgettable sightings can happen at nearly any moment on the pitch or in the stands. A few weeks ago it was Robert Plant. This week it was the local squirrel who ran across the pitch during opening ceremonies who no doubt will become enshrined somehow soon - maybe on a shirt for sale at concessions. Special thanks to the musicians this week > Harper Grae (National Anthem), Brandon Stansell (GEODIS WeHo Club) and Nathaniel Banks of Arlie (Nashville SC Guitar Riff).

Fans across Nashville take a lot of pride in this squad.

Related Links: For more information on NASHVILLE SC and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Nashville SC | Nashville LAUNCH PAD | Nashville SC Begins a New Chapter


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