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ECS releases open letter: What happened to our Shared Values?

The supporters express their frustration with the club’s new shirt sponsor.

ECS’s ‘pride’ tifo in 2021 included POC, transgender and non-binary people.
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

To: Adrian Hanauer, Jody Allen, Drew Carey, the Owners collective, and the Front Office of the Seattle Sounders Football Club

We’re hurt. We’re disappointed. We’re fucking frustrated.

You have spent years reassuring us that you shared our values on critical topics. You’ve told us you share our antifascist and antiracist stance. You joined us in showing your support for transgender youth, going so far as to tell CONCACAF officials that you wouldn’t make us take down our “Emerald City Supports Trans Kids” banner the night of the CCL Final. On June 24, 2022, the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, you issued a statement assuring fans that you believe in the right to autonomy over our bodies and the right to choose. Your partnerships with Intentionalist and the RAVE Foundation support diverse local communities, healthy children, and underserved populations.

So what happened to our shared values? Was it all just lip service to keep taking our money?

Because now you’ve turned around and touted ‘shared values’ with an organization that stands against many of the topics we’ve previously agreed upon.

You brought on a sponsor who has a history of insufficient care for transgender and gender non-binary individuals.

You brought on a sponsor who is one of the largest hospital systems in Washington but will not offer abortion services, per their own documents filed with the state.

You brought on a sponsor whose mission says “we are steadfast in serving all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable” but they were sued by the State of Washington in 2022 for illegally sending more than 55,000 patient accounts to collections when the patients qualified for low-income assistance.

The one thing we can agree on in all of this is that more mental health resources are needed in our community, especially for children and adolescents. However, partnering with a faith-based organization with a history against reproductive rights and gender-affirming care isn’t showing support to all members of this community. There are so many different community organizations you could have chosen for this initiative that would support all of our shared values.

You told us one thing for years, and another with this sponsorship. This situation requires action, and now you need to show us what values you really hold.

Emerald City Supporters

The open letter originally appeared on the ECS website and social platforms.

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