The Orlando Pride of NWSL (the top women’s soccer league in the US) which are majority-owned by the Wilf family yesterday took down a Supporters Group banner. The Pride have several LGBTQ+ players. Here is the full account:
This represents the latest in a line of assaults on free speech in Ron DeSantis’ Florida. Want to wear a mask? The Governor will demand you take it off. Want to have honest conversations about race, ethnicity or religion in the workplace? The STOP WOKE ACT (soon to be signed by the Governor) will prevent you from doing so. Want to protest some injustice. The state tried to prevent that also, but the courts not surprisingly didn’t see eye-to-eye with DeSantis on that.
I have dealt with what the supporters are dealing with currently in Orlando – as someone who has worked in soccer, a sport where at least in the US, the fanbase is disproportionately to the left but the owners tend to lean right, these sorts of pressures were always apparent. But what has sent it over-the-top, at least I believe in this case is the culture of fear that the Governor has implemented, where businesses and employees are scared to say or permit any speech that is “political,” which means it deviates from the Governor’s world view.
This is how autocracies are built. Once again, while Donald Trump may have had some mean tweets and malicious intent, I have seen far more tangibly negative things as a result of Ron DeSantis’ power here in Florida. He can never be allowed to have that power at the federal level.