Major League Soccer to End Boy Scouts of America Partnership
I was stuck in my New Orleans on a stormy Friday afternoon when I first the news. I am now in a Philadelphia hotel room on a sunny afternoon reflecting on the news.
Major League Soccer will not partner with the Boy Scouts of America after the 2012 season.
When the partnership was announced in January, we were upset. The league we love would be working with and sending money to an organization that, as a national policy, wouldn’t have us as members.
To MLS’ credit, the Scouts said the policy was under review, especially after the outcry following the dismissal of out Ohio leader Jennifer Tyrell. There was a potential that the Scouts could do the right thing, and a number of Board members even publicly said they would be in favor of a change.
But last week the Boy Scouts dug in their heels last week and said that they would not enact any changes to their policy following a two-year review. Many expressed outrage, and even Eagle Scout Grant Wahl said that MLS needed to cut their Boy Scout ties:
This Eagle Scout thinks MLS needs to cut ties to Boy Scouts after their reaffirmation of anti-gay policy washingtonpost.com/national/apnew…
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 17, 2012
One can’t say for sure if this was the tipping point in Major League Soccer’s decision, as they only cited “business reasons” for the split after the one year partnership. We would hope and guess that they were giving the Scouts a chance to do right, and after last week’s announcement it was decided it was bad business to do business with a group that institutionalizes exclusion and intolerance.
We applaud Major League Soccer’s decision. It’s only when institutions like MLS take action like this that bastions of inequality will be forced to change their ways. Last week Dan Cathy owned up to Chick Fil A’s anti-gay financial contributions, and today the City of Boston and the Jim Henson Company both said they wouldn’t work with the fast food chain anymore.
On a week I get to attend and write about my first Major League Soccer All Star Game, being an American soccer fan is all the more special for me today. I am immensely proud to be a part of the American soccer family today, and immensely proud of everyone at Major League Soccer.