Announcing the Play Proud Collection

AO is teaming up with Common Goal and Amplifier to launch an exclusive line of AR-activated merch during Pride Month.
All proceeds from AO’s exclusive merch campaign will directly support the implementation of the Play Proud program, which has already reached more than 400,000 young people worldwide. 


“We’re proud to partner with Common Goal and Amplifier for this merch, which serves both as an educator and a call to action,” said Donald Wine, AO Board Member and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chair. “As we look toward the World Cup, we as supporters also need to look within to better support our LGBTQ+ family and anyone else who identifies under the stripes that they feel best define them. The Play Proud apparel not only helps educate, it also calls for allies to do more. We’re equally proud that the proceeds will directly benefit programs that will help make soccer a more inclusive sport.”

Common Goal’s grassroots-driven program, Play Proud works with all stakeholders in soccer to make our communities and stadiums safer spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. AO will amplify Play Proud in June – Pride Month – during which six USMNT and USWNT matches will be played. But the impact doesn’t stop there.

Amplifier, a movement behind groundbreaking social activism campaigns, has supercharged this AO merch with educational messages that call every soccer fan to action. Have you ever wondered what you can do to support LGBTQ+ fans in the stands? Just scan the artwork on our merch with your phone and find out. 

“Play Proud reaches kids where they already are, through the coaches they're already working with,” said Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s National Team and OL Reign. “It's educating coaches on LGBTQ+ issues so they can create a safe space where these kids feel comfortable, and where they can truly thrive." 

This year, Common Goal is bringing together teams from the NWSL, MLS, USL, Liga MX, and the CPL to unite North America and promote LGBTQ+ inclusion ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The program’s 12-month training curriculum includes 100 hours of in-person training that provides participants with tangible tools to make organizations and communities more welcoming for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a credible and transformative model to address discrimination in the stands, on the pitch, and in the boardroom. 

“With the World Cup in Qatar looming at the end of the year, there is a real hunger for immediate action that will help tackle homophobia and discrimination in soccer and in society,” said Lilli Barrett-O'Keefe, Common Goal U.S. Director and Play Proud founder. “We’re focused on what the soccer industry has the potential to become, and we are creating tangible ways to facilitate this positive transformation.”

San Diego Loyal midfielder Collin Martin, the only openly gay player in an upper-tier men’s professional soccer league in the United States, said of Play Proud: “Play Proud is actually doing the work, educating coaches at the professional level and at the youth level… For me, it's actually having this initiative to do the things that need to be done instead of just talking about them." 

By buying AO’s exclusive merch, you are showing your support for safer soccer stadiums and investing directly into social change. Let’s create safer spaces for LGBTQ+ fans and players this June - from your home to our stadiums and in our communities. 


May 20, 2022