Just days after the deadliest shooting in American history, Michael Bradley felt he needed to make some kind of public statement. The United States national team captain came up with the idea of wearing a rainbow armband, to honor the predominately LGBTQ victims.
But wanting to wear one and actually having one to wear — especially the night before the game — is much easier said than done. Luckily he was in Seattle, where there were many resources on hand. USsoccer.com relayed the story of how it all came to pass.
US Soccer equipment manager Jesse Bignami first reached out to the Seattle Reign about getting a label that read "One Nation," which they were able to get. The next call was to the Seattle Sounders’ equipment manager Nolan Myer about the arm band, something he had previously acquired for Brad Evans during last year’s Pride Month celebration.
By the next day, Myer had been able to get one made and delivered by Seattle’s STT-Sports Lettering Co.
"I was happy to help," Myer told SoundersFC.com. "I thought it was a great idea. I had just ordered the one we are going to be using [at the June 25 Pride match] just a few days earlier."
The rest was history (although reports that US Soccer willingly paid a $10,000 fine were apparently inaccurate).
"Obviously it's an incredibly sad week for our country, and for the LGBTQ community," Bradley said following the game. "We all feel a big sense of responsibility every time we represent our country, and wearing a rainbow armband felt like the right way to honor that role tonight."