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.
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.