May 26, 2021 (New York, NY) — Athlete Ally responded today to news that last week, a player from Austin Bold used a homophobic slur against Real Monarchs player Kyle Adams. USL Championship released a statement on Tuesday that the league was “unable to find sufficient evidence of foul and abusive language,” although The Athletic confirmed the incident through sources and examination of tape.
Kyle Adams, a straight ally who was targeted by this abuse, is a regular supporter of Athlete Ally’s Playing for Pride campaign, and sees this incident as underscoring the need for greater LGBTQ+ education and inclusion in sport, especially in soccer.
“I just didn’t want it to get passed by,” Adams told The Athletic. “I believe it shouldn’t be in the game at any point… I would never want anyone to feel uncomfortable and not want to play because there were derogatory terms being thrown around against the LGBTQ+ community.”
“The discriminatory language directed at Kyle Adams is unacceptable, as is any discriminatory language directed at a player,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “Sport has historically turned a blind eye to anti-LGBTQ+ language. Words are not just words — they keep LGBTQ+ players from feeling safe to come out, and perpetuate dangerous stereotypes. The culture of sport will only shift to a more inclusive one through meaningful LGBTQ+ education, and players, teams and leagues speaking out about the need for sport to be truly for all. We send our gratitude and support to Kyle for speaking out on this, and for his allyship to the LGBTQ+ community.”