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Ireland and US men’s national teams wore rainbow flags on jerseys

The two countries’ soccer teams gave a nod to LGBTQ inclusion as Pride Month kicks off.

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Republic of Ireland v The United States - International Friendly
John O’Shea played his final match for Ireland as the team wore rainbow-colored numbers.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Both the Ireland men’s national soccer team and the U.S. men’s national team made a very public statement of inclusion on Saturday, as the teams wore rainbow-colored numbers on their jerseys in a friendly match held in Dublin.

It was a wonderful nod to the beginning of Pride Month, held every June to recognize and build acceptance for and inclusion of LGBTQ people. This year the sports world is taking its most visible steps ever to be part of the Pride Month celebration and demonstration.

The Football Association of Ireland didn’t shy away from the rainbow flag on Twitter:

The U.S. men’s national team wore rainbows on their jerseys last year as well.

In recent years, Ireland has become a leader in LGBTQ equality. In 2015, the heavily Catholic nation voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage, with 62% of the voters casting a ballot in favor of equality. The nation decriminalized “gay sex” years before the United States did.