The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC pro-soccer team decided to end its partnership with the nationwide-recognized Chick-fil-A fast food chain after the restaurant company faced backlash over its support for organizations accused of being anti-LGBT.
A member of the United Soccer League (USL), the Pittsburgh pro-soccer team competed against Loudoun United FC at Pittsburgh's Highmark Stadium, during which the Pittsburgh team was supposed to sell Chick-fil-A sandwiches. However, the team decided to forego the partnership after their fans expressed disappointment over it.
Steel Army, a group that supports the Pittsburgh pro-soccer team took to Twitter to issue a statement condemning the team's partnership with Chick-fil-A, "We, having spend the past month soliciting donations on behalf of a local LGBTQ+ organization, strongly oppose the Riverhounds entering into a partnership with a local franchisee of a fast food restaurant chain that has a well documented history of corporate donations to organizations that promote anti-LGBTQ+ ideology."
According to Christian Headlines, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC pro-soccer team responded by issuing a statement on their website saying that "after considering feedback," they decided to "discontinue its planned promotion and sale of Chick-fil-A sandwiches at home games this season."
The statement added, "after consulting with our supporters' groups and gauging feedback from our fans, the decision was made not to continue the promotion beyond this week's match."
The Pittsburgh pro-soccer team stressed that they "strongly believe in making all of our fans feel welcome" and "continue to look for ways to partner with local and national brands to improve the game day experience for everyone."
In 2019, NBC News reported that several U.S. cities prohibited Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their airports following a report from ThinkProgress that showed how the fast food chain donated millions to organizations that fought against pro-LGBT legislation. Cities such as San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, New York rejected Chick-fil-A for its "legacy of anti-LGBT behavior."
In June, Insider reported how Chick-fil-A once again got entangled in anti-LGBT controversy when the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF) opposed the Equality Act. NCF is the sixth largest charity in America and names Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy as one of its "high-dollar donors."
Chick-fil-A remains undeterred by the backlash, however, as earlier this month, it was ranked #1 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index's list of best fast food restaurant, USA Today reported. The fast food chain retained its top title for the seventh year in a row with 83 points, followed by Domino's with 80 points, and KFC with 79 points.
Chick-fil-A customers expressed disdain over the Pittsburgh pro-soccer team's decision to stop selling the famous fast food chain's sandwiches during the game. A Twitter user by the name of Sandra Cleary wrote, "All this does is hurt a local business owner on McKnight road. Nothing else."
Another Twitter user named Joel Delgado wrote, "This is ridiculous, cowardly and (most ironically) intolerant. Cancel culture is the absolute worst."
Twitter user Robert Morgan declared himself a former fan of the Pittsburgh pro-soccer team after they cut ties with Chick-fil-A, writing, "This has nothing to do with the franchise operator nor the people who work there. Hope your support of cancel culture cancels your franchise. Pittsburgh doesn't deserve you. Count me out as a fan. I'll start rooting for the team by me now. #NashvilleSC"