Houston Dynamo, Time to Be a HERO

Annise Parker Houston Dynamo

Your mayor supports you, Houston Dynamo. It’s time to support your mayor.

It’s “get out the vote” weekend across America, and the Houston Dynamo have a few days left to encourage their fans to vote for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

HERO was passed last year and protects people in fourteen different categories from employment, housing, and public accommodation discrimination. From ethnicity to disability to military status, it serves to protect not only LGBT fans and players of the Houston Dynamo and Dash, but so many others as well.

Houston was the only city as large as it was to lack such an ordinance, and if opponents have their way it will lack one once again. Opponents who want to make the issue solely about who is allowed to enter what restroom.

Why should a sports entity support a referendum? Simply put, teams have an obligation to protect their employees, players, and fans. With elements of the Houston sports community speaking out against HERO, supporters need sports on their side as well.

It’s not unprecedented. In this instance, the Harris County Houston Sports Authority has endorsed the measure (with a future Super Bowl on their minds). In soccer the Portland Timbers and Thorns endorsed an Oregon same-sex marriage ballot measure in 2013. The Chicago Fire started a first-of-its-kind partnership with Equality Illinois.

Now, the Houston Dynamo and Dash have each had Pride Nights. I’m here struggling to temper my cynical side that wants to scream that the organization only supports the LGBT community when it’s to put butts in seats. It was noted by many that the Dynamo were eerily silent this past June when so much of the United States soccer community was celebrating the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision. At times it can really seem like their choice is not offending segments of their fan base over doing the right thing.

But I must reiterate that with fourteen protected groups this isn’t just about Houston’s LGBT community. This is about all of Houston. All of the Dynamo and Dash’s fans and staffs and even players. It’s time for the Houston Dynamo organization to step up. It’s time for them to be a hero for HERO.

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