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Reign game caps Pride week in Seattle

Saturday’s Reign game marks the end of a four-day stretch of Pride nights for Seattle’s professional teams.

When Megan Rapinoe first publicly said she was gay before the 2012 Olympics, she felt ready and that it was the right time.

“I had kind of come to a point in my life and thinking about my sexuality that this is just stupid that I’m not out,” said Rapinoe, a forward for the Seattle Reign. “I wanted to be out. I wanted to be out because that’s who I was.”

Rapinoe was comfortable with the world knowing, but still, five years later, gay athletes across all sports might not feel that way, she said. That’s why she called the Reign’s match against FC Kansas City an “important” one.

Saturday

FC Kansas City @ Reign FC, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Reign game marks the end of a four-day stretch of Pride nights for Seattle’s professional teams, which also included the Sounders, Mariners and Storm. Actively taking part in nights like these, Rapinoe said, can help signal a team’s commitment to LGBT equality more so than simply having inclusive policies in place. The joint effort among a city’s teams for this cause is the first of its kind, organizers said.

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“It’s something that the world really should look up to and take note of,” said Jessica Fishlock, who is a Reign midfielder and is openly gay.

Both Fishlock and Rapinoe said their experiences coming out were positive ones. And among Reign players inclusivity isn’t an issue.

“Whether (players) are gay or they’re straight, we still voice the same opinion,” Fishlock said. “That is what is so special about our group.”

Playing in Seattle adds to the safe environment for these Reign players. Here, Fishlock said, people can be who they are without hesitation, whereas in some countries around the world, Fishlock knows she should wear a long-sleeved shirt to cover her small tattoo of…

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