Austin Da Luz is “Playing for Pride”

North Carolina FC veteran Austin Da Luz has kicked off the “Playing for Pride” campaign to raise money for the Human Rights Campaign throughout the 2017 soccer season.

It’s a new season, a new team identity, and the return of women’s professional soccer for North Carolina, yet anti-LGBT legislation has hit the state’s reputation hard over the past year. While acknowledging that issues and discrimination do exist in places, Da Luz said he was sick of the negativity around his state and wanted to show that the good outweighs the bad there. That he saw plenty of people doing cool things every day to benefit their communities and causes in which they believed.

With that motivation and some inspiration from meeting folks at a recent team LGBT networking event, Da Luz started Playing for Pride. The premise is simple: that he would donate a set amount of money to the Human Rights Campaign for every game played, game started, goal, and assist during the 2017 season.

There was one worry, though. What if an injury or other factors kept him sidelined for a portion of the year? Austin Da Luz began recruiting friends and teammates to his campaign. And they did, with representatives from Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League, the North American Soccer League, and the United Soccer League all on the list. Every first and second division league in America is represented from the US Women’s National Team and NC Courage’s Sam Mewis to Sporting Kansas City’s Ike Opara. Over twenty players in all at the time this post is being written.

Together with fans, the Playing for Pride team has raised over $2500 during just the first two weeks of the campaign.

Austin Da Luz wants even more fellow players and fans to join the team. Check out their webpage, donate, and share it far and wide. Fans can donate through a different player every week or follow their favorite over the course of the whole season.

You can join the Playing for Pride campaign at their Crowdrise website and use the link to encourage your favorite players to join. We’re looking forward to watching Austin’s efforts as the season progresses.

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