New Mexico United released its 2022 Pride Collection Friday with online sales and a special retail event at the Untied Team Store.
Twenty percent of net proceeds from the sales of all pride items will go to the Transgender Research Center of New Mexico.
Online sales began Friday morning with dozens of fans lining up outside the store on Carlisle around 5 p.m. waiting to get in the store and enjoy the festivities. In addition to the options of tanks, tees, cups, flags, scarves and decals available online, the retail event had players Austin Yearwood, Michael Azira and Justin Portillo signing autographs and a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with drag queen Vanessa Patricks. There were also free cookies from Rude Boy Cookies, free Italian Ice and a TIFO painting station.
“We didn’t come out with a pride jersey this year; what we wanted to do was offer a lot of options that are at a lower price point for the community and just kind of meet people,” New Mexico United Game Day Producer and Community Engagement Manager Jules Myers said Friday before the doors opened. “My favorite part of the collection that we’re coming out with are the customizable shirts, so you can pick your pride shields. So we have the trans pride flag, we have the lesbian pride flag, bisexual, pansexual, nonbinary, and you can come in and say I need a medium of the nonbinary shirt because that’s how I identify it and we’ll live press it for you. The collection that we have this year actually represents as many people as closely as we can. I think that’s that’s something that not a lot of companies do. I think a lot of companies think, ‘Let’s slap a pride flag on it,’ and you did your job for the month, but there’s really so much more you can do.”
A fan waiting in line about an hour before the doors opened who wished to be identified as Joshua said New Mexico United matches and the community around the team has been a safe space.
“They have a very strong stance on homophobia, transphobia, racism,” said Joshua, who lives in Ventana Ranch. “And all that allows people to comfortably be who they are.”
Myers said events like the one Friday are just another way New Mexico United is bringing people together across the state. Myers joined United through its 2021 Diversity Fellowship program, which was the first for the club. It is intended to bring under-represented people into the sports world.
” I think there’s a lot of incredible work being done by plenty of sports teams, and I’m just really grateful to work for New Mexico United because they go above and beyond all the time,” Myers said. “That’s just something I’m really proud of. I came through the fellowship because of my identity as a queer person. So it’s really important to me to embrace as many queer people and be like, , this is for you because I was a fan of the club, but not really. I had been to two games. I wasn’t hugely into the community at all.
“I really came in not because I’m passionate about soccer, but because I’m passionate about making New Mexico a better place to live. I’ve been here my whole life, and I’ve never seen people be so excited about something and so behind something. I think events like this are the perfect example.”
To purchase Pride 2022 items, click here or visit the Team Store, which is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.