Throughout the month of October, the Washington Spirit will be auctioning off a variety of specialty items, including game-worn signed jerseys, game-worn cleats, a signed plaque and signed Challenge Cup scarves.
All proceeds will be donated to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Boys and Girls Club of America — two organizations that are integral in the landscape of championing equality.
The auction is live now and can be viewed here.
The auction was initiated by Spirit defender Sam Staab. While Staab has established herself as one of the premier defenders in the league with her play on the field, she felt like she could be doing more off of it.
Over the past several months, there has been an unprecedented reckoning with regards to social injustices in the United States.
“We were in Utah for the Challenge Cup and I just felt like, one, we could all be doing a little bit more, and two, that I could help do it. I like to be organizing and I like to be involved,” she said.
“I chose the NAACP because it’s a broad organization that’s at the forefront of combating social injustice, so I thought that that was a really good organization for proceeds to go to,” Staab said.
She continued: “As I thought about it and talked to some friends, one organization that a lot of people are influenced by is the Boys and Girls Club of America. They are nation-wide and they help so many kids with their sporting careers. They help [kids] and give them the opportunity to be able to continue [with] sports and I think that’s something we can all resonate with.”
As a professional athlete, Staab recognizes the unique platform she wields and the importance of using that platform to speak out against injustices.
“I think we all have a platform for it, so we might as well and go and do it,” Staab said. “The platform for all of us is there. I brought [the idea of an auction] up to a few people and got their thoughts and then we decided to move forward on it.”
Once the idea had materialized, it became a matter of planning and coordinating with other teams; Staab has personal connections with several players in the league. For example, Staab played with Abby Smith — goalkeeper for the Utah Royals — in Australia. Smith is contributing a signed plaque signed by the entire Utah roster.
“I have friends on other teams and thought, ‘hey might as well just reach out to anyone that wanted to get involved,’ Staab said. “ Everyone has been so amazing.”
The auction is a way for athletes, with their elevated platforms, to bring awareness to the inequalities that are rampant and pervasive in American society.
“It was really important to bring to light everything that our black teammates and individuals that we interact with on a daily basis face, and it’s definitely something that not everyone can understand,” Staab said.
“It was really important to bring to light their point of views, their stories, their experiences, because you don’t really know unless you speak to someone, just how different their experience could be versus really any of ours.”
Even though Staab created the idea for the auction, she was adamant in that it has been a collective effort.
“I would just say that, even though it was my idea, but it’s not just me,” she said. “Our whole team is taking this on board and doing such an amazing job helping out. I definitely am so grateful for all my awesome teammates, so that’s great.”
“The support means everything.”
For more information on the Washington Spirit fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: