Local professional sports teams the Washington Capitals, Commanders, Nationals, Mystics, Spirit Wizards, D.C. United, DC Shadow and Capital City Go-Go today announce their renewed commitment to community safety as they prepare to wear orange on Gun Violence Awareness Weekend. As part of the 2023 campaign, the teams have pledged an initial donation of $100,000 to local non-profit Peace For DC with additional ways for members of the public to contribute.
“The professional sports teams of Washington D.C. are proud to come together and say ENOUGH,” the teams said in a joint statement. “We ask our fans and community partners to stand with us as we work with Peace For DC to create a better, safer city for everyone.”
Peace For DC serves as a connector between those leading violence prevention work across the city and those willing and able to offer assistance, such as government agencies and philanthropies. The organization operates the DC Peace Academy, providing world-class training to the district’s Community Violence Intervention workforce. Led by D.C.-area natives with deep, personal experiences connected to violence and a background in collaborating with stakeholders at every level, Peace For DC aims to reduce gun-related homicides in the District by 60% in five years.
On Wear Orange Weekend from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4, local teams will show their support in a variety of ways, including wearing orange warm-up shirts and sharing information on local gun violence statistics via their social platforms.
This marks the second consecutive year that D.C. sports teams have come together to combat violence in the area, following last year’s unprecedented collaboration that raised more than $100,000 for community-based violence intervention programs.
Additional information on how individual teams are supporting gun violence awareness on Wear Orange Weekend can be found below.
- D.C. United players will wear an orange ribbon on the front of their warmups on Wednesday, May 31.
- D.C. United will hold a moment of silence in memory of DC SCORES poet athletes Arianna Davis and Jefferson Luna-Perez, whose lives were recently taken due to gun violence.
- The D.C. United Foundation will make a donation to Peace For DC and will provide support for their DC Peace Academy.
- Washington Nationals players and on-field staff will wear orange t-shirts with the word ENOUGH on the front during warmups on Saturday, June 3.
- The Washington Nationals will recognize Peace For DC organizers and their community-based violence prevention partners during the June 3 pregame ceremonies.
- All funds raised from the Nationals Philanthropies 5050 Raffle on June 3 will directly benefit Peace For DC. 5050 Raffle sellers will wear orange ribbons as part of their uniforms on Saturday in recognition of the campaign.
Washington Mystics, Wizards, Capitals and Capital City Go-Go
Mystics players will host their “Wear Orange” game for the fifth year in a row on June 2. The team will:
- Commemorate National Wear Orange Day with ‘Mystics Wear Orange’ t-shirts worn by the players during warmups and available for purchase in the Team Store.
- Host a private pre-game youth clinic, sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety, for survivors of gun violence.
- Honor Mom’s Demand Action founder Shannon Watts with the Mystics Game Changer Award at halftime.
- Turn the Arena orange in a special moment of solidarity & remembrance for loved ones lost from gun violence.
- Mystics’ guard Natasha Cloud will host a private meeting post-game with Mom’s Demand Action volunteers.
- To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Wizards changing their name from the Bullets, the team partnered with the Alliance of Concerned Men (ACM) during the 2022-23 season, selling “Peace Tees” to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit, which promotes understanding, peace, and harmony while working to prevent gun violence in Washington, D.C.
- The Commanders organization will support Wear Orange Day by wearing orange shirts emblazoned with “END GUN VIOLENCE” on the front during this week’s OTA practices.
- The Commanders rookie class will attend the Saturday June 3 Washington Nationals game in support of the Nationals’ recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Month.
- Later this month, the Commanders will be announcing additional support for a youth organization and local community affected by gun violence.
- At a regular-season game to be announced this season, all proceeds from that game’s 50/50 raffle sales will be donated to a Prince George’s County organization supporting efforts to end gun violence and support gun violence victims.
- DC Shadow players and staff will wear orange t-shirts with the word ENOUGH on the front during warmups and player introductions on Saturday, June 3.
- DC Shadow will recognize the work of Peace For DC and their community-based violence prevention partners during the June 3 pregame ceremonies.
- DC Shadow will solicit contributions to Peace For DC through its social media platforms during the days leading up to its June 3rd home game and at the game.
For more information and to make a donation, visit give.nats4good.org/SafeDCNow.
About Peace For DC
Peace For DC is working toward a safe and peaceful Washington, DC, where all residents and businesses can thrive without fear of violence. We are committed to ending gun violence in DC by launching and scaling data-driven, proven strategies and strengthening essential community-led violence intervention efforts. We are focused on systems change to heal trauma, transform the lives of those at highest risk of violence, and build coordinated strategies for peace in DC. By working together, we can save lives right now. For more information visit www.peacefordc.org
About D.C. United Foundation
The D.C. United Foundation harnesses the power of soccer to reach underserved communities in the D.C. area and give youth the tools necessary to soar on and off the pitch. The D.C. United Foundation is an extension of D.C. United, the Major League Soccer Club located in Washington, D.C., and prioritizes serving populations that lack equitable access to important resources, educating and empowering the next generation and using our platform to lift people up and support their visions. The work of the D.C. United Foundation is centered around programming and partners that encourage and provide opportunities for community members to thrive, unite and have essential support. For more information visit dcunited.com/foundation.