Sounders FC today announced club plans to support National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. Scheduled for June 3-5 this year, the three-day period marking National Gun Violence Awareness Day (the first Friday in June) and Wear Orange Weekend (the accompanying weekend) exists to fight for a future free from gun violence and honor the survivors of such acts of violence, as well as the lives lost and forever changed. This Sunday, May 29, in an effort to bring awareness to the upcoming weekend and its significance, the club is wearing orange during pre-match warmups and displaying special messaging ahead of its match against Charlotte FC at Lumen Field (6:30 p.m. PT / FS1, Sirius XM, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1390 AM).
"In recent days, our club has been in frequent dialogue with the leaders of all of Seattle’s professional sports teams, and we are united in our resolve to use our respective platforms to effectuate change on this crucial issue,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “While we come to this challenge from different backgrounds and viewpoints, we are all devastated by what we have seen this week. If we can save one family from going through the absolute agony and turmoil that they are going through right now in Texas, it will have been worthwhile. If we don’t try, shame on us for not using our platforms, our organizations for good. Each team is choosing a path to help make a difference, and on Sunday our club is proud to support the Wear Orange movement in advance of National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend. It’s a small first step, but our local teams are in this together for the long-term.”
All Sounders FC players on the pitch pre-match are wearing orange tops supporting the Wear Orange movement. Started in 2015 in memory of Hadiya Pendleton – who at age 15 marched in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013 and was then tragically shot and killed on a playground in Chicago a week later – Wear Orange encourages the wearing or display of the color orange, the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement, and taking steps to encourage meaningful change.
Additionally, the team’s Starting XI will present and take their official pre-match photo with a large orange banner reading “End Gun Violence,” and the club’s social channels will go orange and reflect gun violence awareness messaging. Lumen Field's arches will also go orange on Sunday, and both SoDo stadiums - Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park - will light orange for Wear Orange Weekend.
Understanding the power that sports can have to spark change, Sounders FC is also joining a collective effort across Seattle sports teams to support further efforts in the arena of ending gun violence.
At last night’s 87th Annual Seattle Sports Commission Sports Star of the Year Awards, Hanauer led off the night with an impassioned address regarding the senseless school shooting in Uvelde, Texas earlier this week, which took the lives of 19 children and two adults. Hanauer spoke on behalf of Seattle professional sports team ownership and leadership in addressing the desire for local sports teams to use their platforms and organizations to effectuate change. The teams plan to continue discussions about next steps, with further calls to action for fan bases and the community forthcoming.