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U.S. national teams to wear rainbow numbers on shirts in June friendlies

ESPN's Sam Borden chats with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about the U.S.-led 2026 World Cup bid.

The United States men's and women's national teams will both wear rainbow-colored numbers on their shirts during June friendlies as part of LGBT Pride Month.

The men's squad will wear the shirt against Venezuela on June 3 in Utah, while the women will don them for games in Sweden and Norway.

The game-issued shirts will then be auctioned off for charity, U.S. Soccer said.

The shirts are one of a number of initiatives planned for next month in a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the You Can Play Project, which supports equality for athletes of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Last summer, Michael Bradley wore a rainbow captain's armband in a game against Ecuador that was later auctioned for $5,655.55 to benefit organizations helping those affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

In September, women's team star Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem in part because she "felt like I haven't had my liberties protected" as an openly gay athlete.

U.S. Soccer then passed a policy in March that said all players must "stand respectfully" during the anthems before national team games.

In November, Premier League clubs took part in a similar effort in England as players and referees wore rainbow armbands and shoelaces.

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