By Brody Levesque | NEW YORK, NY -- The president of Major League Soccer, Mark Abbott announced Friday that his organisation will not renew a strategic partnership Boy Scouts of America when the current agreement expires at the end of the season. Under the partnership agreement that was originally signed in January 2012, MLS teams held “Scout Nights” at their stadiums with discounted tickets, and players would visit local troops to discuss fitness and leadership.
Last week, the executive council of the Boy Scouts had announced that the BSA would continue its much criticised policy of excluding gay scouts and prohibiting adult gay leaders.
Abbott's announcement did not specify if the actions by the BSA hierarchy affected his organsation's decision to end the partnership, but many of the professional soccer league's teams including DC United, the Columbus Crew, and the Chicago Fire have sponsored game promotions for LGBT groups. In May, the Chicago Fire team had announced that it had formed a partnership with Equality Illinois.
Major League Soccer has also been a sponsor of anti-discriminatory causes like "You Can Play," an organization dedicated to ending homophobia in sports.