Over the past two days, the Orlando Pride leadership team has taken part in numerous discussions with supporters, players, front office and team staff, as well as community leaders in LGBTQ+ activism, to address, listen and learn from Saturday’s events. These conversations resulted in one ultimate and important conclusion: a mistake was made when the Club asked the Black Swans to remove the banner that said "GAY". The organization admits it wrongly focused on signage policies and procedures, instead of allowing the important meaning of this message.
It is a privilege and duty to create a safe, inclusive environment at Orlando Pride matches, and the Club deeply apologizes for violating that trust through this incorrect decision. Moving forward, the Black Swans have approval to hang the banner at Pride home matches if they wish to do so. Over its seven-year history, the Orlando Pride and its players have been on the forefront of supporting equality initiatives, both in the local Orlando community and through its online platforms, and it is critical to continue with this mission.
After much discussion and self-reflection, we, the Orlando Pride organization and Black Swans Drinking Club — the recognized supporters group for the Pride — are coming together to acknowledge that the mistake made on Saturday does not define what the Pride stand for.
We are now, collectively, committing to establish better and more open lines of communication between our two parties. We remain steadfast in the goal of using our platforms and voices for positive change, all while doing the one thing that ties us together: supporting and showcasing the hard work, talents and impact of the Pride players, both on and off the field.