NWSL supporters’ groups release Supporters’ Code of Conduct

CHICAGO, IL –  In light of the racist abuse reported at last weekend’s Utah Royals vs. Portland Thorns match, leaders of many National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) supporters’ groups convened under the umbrella of the Independent Supporters Council (ISC) to create the league’s first Supporters’ Group Code of Conduct. Groups representing supporters from every NWSL club have signed on in agreement.

The code affirms the values that these supporters’ groups already uphold and directs members to take appropriate and immediate action to stop future abuse as it may arise. The code also sets an expectation of open communication between front offices and supporters’ groups in order to ensure enforcement of the code’s commitments.

The Supporters’ Group Code of Conduct

As an NWSL supporters group we affirm that we expect our members to embrace diversity and treat all players, coaches, fans, supporters, officials, team and stadium staff with dignity and respect. We will not tolerate hateful or discriminatory words or actions based on race, gender identity, sexuality, citizenship status or nationality, age, appearance, disability, religious or cultural identity. We will also respect the privacy, personal space, and professional boundaries of players, team and league staff.


If group members are made aware of hateful or discriminatory words or actions taking place within our community at any point we affirm that we will take appropriate, immediate action to stop whoever is instigating hate and set the expectation that ownership, coaching staff, players, stadium personnel, and league-wide staff will do the same. Violence or threats of violence will absolutely not be tolerated in any context. 

We pledge to make our community a safe space for all who join us in good faith, with an open mind and the intention to be a part of a welcoming community. We also pledge to enforce this commitment in all of the spaces we occupy, including our online space. In the interest of ensuring enforcement of these commitments we expect that lines of communication between our supporter’s group and the team’s front office will remain open at all times and that this Code of Conduct along with any group-specific expectations will be shared with all group members. 

Hate, bigotry, and harassment will not be tolerated in NWSL supporting culture. As supporters groups we will do everything in our power to ensure this is true and to grow the game with this commitment as our foundation.

Signed: 
9/10/2019
Bayou City Republic (@BayouCityRep, Houston Dash)
Chicago Local 134 (@ChicagoLocal134, Chicago Red Stars)*
Cloud 9 (@Cloud9SBFC, Sky Blue FC)*
The Court (@CourtofRoyals, Utah Royals)
Junkyard Dogs (@NCJunkyardDogs, North Carolina Courage)
Pride’s Crown (@PridesCrown, Orlando Pride)*
Rose City Riveters (PDXRivetersSG, Portland Thorns)*
Royal Guard (@RoyalGuard_SG, Reign FC)
Spirit Squadron (@SpiritSquadron, Washington Spirit)*
The Uproar (@UproarNC, North Carolina Courage)
*Indicates ISC membership

The Independent Supporters Council promotes supporters’ culture and advocates for fair treatment of supporters, both at home and on the road. The ISC also serves as a resource for members to share information about supporters’ issues. There are more than 60 members of the Independent Supporters Council in the US and Canada between MLS, NWSL, USL, NPSL, UPSL, and CPL.

Did you know that USWNT players play in the National Women’s Soccer League every summer across the country?

Chicago Red Stars players on the 2019 USWNT World Cup roster: Morgan Brian, Tierna Davidson, Julie Ertz, and Alyssa Naeher

Many soccer fans only follow the USWNT during major tournament years, like the World Cup or the Olympics the following year. But women’s soccer happens every year in the many top-tier leagues around the world. Mexico has Liga MX Femenil, England has the FA Women’s Super League, Australia has the W-League, and the United States has the NWSL.

(already know all this?? scroll to the very end for free tickets!)

National Women’s Soccer League

The National Women’s Soccer League, more commonly known as the NWSL was started in 2012 and is currently comprised of 9 clubs across the U.S.

The nine NWSL clubs, clockwise from middle: Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Houston Dash, Utah Royals, Portland Thorns, and Reign FC.

Teams in the NWSL play a 24 game season from roughly April to October each year. Teams are comprised mainly of American players, with a few international players on each team as well. The NWSL is owned in part by US Soccer, which means that it’s often the preferred league for US Women’s National Team players, though some teams have more or less than others.

Players typically enter the NWSL though the College Draft in January, or through trades from other leagues. Due to the opposite schedules, there is a large amount of crossover between the NWSL and the Australian W-League which means players can play professional soccer year-round.

How do I pick a team?

Simple, you pick the Chicago Red Stars, the oldest continuously-operating club in the country. TheRed Stars are a perennial playoff contender and truly embody the grit and determination of Chicago. If you’re a Midwesterner, you really can’t go wrong supporting the Red Stars!

Our next suggestion is to…support your local team! Do you live near one of the other NWSL teams? Then that’s your team! Women’s soccer is growing every year, but the grassroots, day-to-day support that comes from local communities is integral. This guide is written by a supporters group for the Chicago Red Stars, but all NWSL teams have SGs. If you’re looking to join a group, make sure they are independent from the team’s front office and a foster a positive environment for fans. These are the officially recognized groups for each team:

Why would I want to join a supporters group?

Because SGs have the most fun! Supporters Groups are the people standing up, drumming, chanting, singing, and yelling throughout the matches. Even if you’re watching games online you can usually hear them. SGs often hold pregame parties or tailgates, watch parties for away matches, and sometimes organize trips to other states for matches. SGs are typicially independent of the team, but officially recognized. This means the team does not control the group or its actions, but they do get perks that might be special events, lower ticket prices, and permission to bring instruments, flags, signs and other things into stadiums.

Chicago Local 134 at the 2019 home opener

Does your local SG seem intimidating? We promise they aren’t really. SGs would LOVE to have you join them. Some require dues (~$20) for official members, but any of them will welcome you to stand and sing during the match even if you’re not a member. Member dues usually go toward tailgate essentials and support inside the stadium (banners, signs, flags, etc.) The people you meet in your NWSL SGs will be your fiercest, weirdest, and coolest friends!

Check out the websites and twitter feeds of your local SGs to learn where you can find them and how to get involved! If you’re coming to Chicago, here’s your guide!

I heard that the USWNT players are on these teams…

Yep – and if you don’t live near a team or have any other attachment or inclination toward one, you could pick your club based on the players there. For instance, Alex Morgan plays for Orlando, Carli Lloyd plays for Sky Blue, Megan Rapinoe plays for the Reign…but remember that supporting a soccer club is an act of love and passion. Don’t be surprised if your fave gets traded – hopefully you will forever be a fan of your chosen club!

The Chicago Red Stars currently have four USWNT players (Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian, and Tierna Davidson – Chicago’s #1 draft pick in 2019!); one Australian player (2-time reigning Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr); two Mexican players (Katie Johnson and Maria Sanchez), and a number of other players who have been recently called into national team camps (Danny Colaprico, Savannah McCaskill, Arin [Gilliland] Wright, Casey Short, etc.). You can do your own research to find out where your favorite players play!

How do I watch games?

If you’re in the US, you can watch games on Yahoo! Sports. If you’re an international fan, the NWSL streams games on their website for you. If you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago, you can watch all Red Stars games on NBC Sports Chicago. Often the end of the season games end up on ESPN networks, so stay plugged into NWSL news to find out more.

How can I keep up with NWSL news?

Follow the many incredible writers and reporters that cover the Red Stars!

Here are our recommended follows for league-wide news:

And for more general coverage of soccer:

Free tickets!

Want to come see the Chicago Red Stars play the North Carolina Courage on July 21st, 2019 AND welcome back the World Cup players? Click the image below and enter code LOCAL134 for two free tickets courtesy of us!

Doubleheader tailgate to benefit NWSLPA

Chicago Local 134 is teaming up with Section 8 Chicago for the Fire/Red Stars doubleheader on April 20th and will take over tailgate food duties.

Proceeds from the tailgate will be donated directly to the NWSL Players Association

A $5 donation will get you access to an assortment of breakfast items before the 12:00 p.m. Fire game and the 2:30 p.m. Red Stars game that follows. There will be no official Local 134 tailgate between the two games.

“We, the players of the NWSL, vow to build on the opportunity that has been afforded to us, as well as work to achieve those goals that have not yet been attained. We honor the vision and progress of those who came before us…Pledge to work with the League and Allocated Players to advance continued improvements in women’s soccer…Commit ourselves to doing all in our power for the betterment of our members so that we may best contribute to the common goal: a world-class product on the field, and to be role models and inspire the next generation off the field.”

NWSLPA Mission Statement

Chicago Red Stars Announce #ChangingTheGame Partnership

From chicagoredstars.com:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars are proud to partner with the Chicago Sky of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in an attempt at #ChangingTheGame in Chicago women’s sports.

Chicago is home to three top-level women’s sports teams featuring players who represent both their club and country. Fans can show support for Chicago women’s professional sports in the first step of the #ChangingTheGame initiative with one great deal.

For $50, fans will receive a ticket to the 2019 home openers of the Red Stars, Sky and Bandits as well as a limited-edition #ChangingTheGame t-shirt.

“The partnership that is being created between three powerful sports teams in Chicago is groundbreaking,” Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler said. “Fans are being given the opportunity to continue to grow the women’s game in three leagues through the NWSL, NPF, and WNBA with this initiative. This is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship between three aspiring organizations looking to change the game.”

Tickets will be delivered via email no later than 48 hours before each team’s home opener. Dates and times of each team’s 2019 home opener will be announced by each team in 2019. T-Shirts will be available for pick-up at the Chicago Red Stars 2019 Home Opener.

BUY #CHANGINGTHEGAME TICKET PACK

For more information, please contact: 773-697-8699 or tickets@chicagoredstars.com.

#SquadGoals

opening day

squadFrom Lifetime.com’s post “Real #SquadGoals: How NWSL’s Most Dedicated Fans Are Changing the Game“:

“Much has been written about the fierce and rowdy Riveters — with anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 fans in attendance at home games. While they are the largest supporters group in the NWSL, the other nine teams in the league also have supporter groups that are just as proud. Groups like Cloud 9 (Sky Blue), the Spirit Squadron (Washington Spirit) and Chicago Local 134 (Chicago Red Stars) all bring amazing energy to the games.”

See you Saturday for Chicago vs. Houston live on Lifetime from Toyota Park – tailgate starts at 1:00pm!

5/6 – #CHIvHOU at home, live on @lifetimetv, & Pace Toyota Park Express running

05.06.17-Game-4

Packed schedule for this Saturday’s game!

  • 1:00pm – Local 134 tailgate begins in the North Lot, coordinated by Isabel
  • 1:00pm – Pace Toyota Park Express starts running from the Midway CTA Orange Line Station directly to Toyota Park.
    • The buses start 2 hours before kickoff and run every 20 minutes. Fare is $1.75.
  • 1:00pm – Julie Foudy Hosts #SockTalk at Toyota Park
    • Joining her are ESPN reporter Jessica Mendoza, former U.S. Women’s National Team defender Kate Markgraf and inspirational speaker, Amy Liss.
    • #SockTalk tickets cost $45, which includes a copy of “Choose to Matter” and a pair of Chicago Red Stars socks, and can be purchased here. Proceeds of the event will benefit Girls in the Game.
  • 3:00pm – Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash
    • Join us in the Harlem End, Section 118 for chants and drums and fun.
  • 30 minutes after the match concludes Pace Toyota Park Express starts running back to Midway CTA Orange Line Station.
    • Fare is $1.75.

 

2017 Chicago Local 134 Membership

group

While any person who wants to join us for games and tailgates is welcome, we are able to fund our efforts thanks to our dues-paying members. Don’t forget to join us this year!

For just $20 you can be an official member. Your donation gets you:

  • A direct link to the cheapest season ticket price – just $180 goal line season tickets in the official supporters’ section (118, the Harlem End)
  • Brand new Chicago Local 134 sunglasses
  • A discount on our (soon-to-be-revealed) 2017 t-shirt
  • Access to our member’s-only communication stream

Donating above and beyond the standard $20 amounts will earn you eternal gratitude and maybe even drumming privileges.

What does your $20 fund?

  • Tailgate food and drinks
  • Banners & sign-making supplies
  • Game day transportation
  • Drum upkeep + other misc. items purchased for the group at-large.

The more members we have, the more we can do to make CRS game days memorable!

Donate here:

Join Local 134

Expect an email upon purchase with ticketing information. Direct all questions to chicagolocal134@gmail.com or @ChicagoLocal134 on Twitter.