all scores

Seattle women’s sports bar joins NWSL players in charity pledge

OL Reign defender Lauren Barnes is pledging 1% of her earnings toward gender equity in youth soccer. (Stephen Brashear/USA TODAY Sports)

Rough & Tumble Pub, which bills itself as Seattle’s home for women’s sports, is putting its money where its mouth is.

The women’s sports bar — which features a “Billie Jean Wings” appetizer in honor of tennis legend Billie Jean King, among other aptly named menu items — is pledging 1% of its revenue toward gender equity in youth soccer, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.

With the pledge, Rough & Tumble joins longtime OL Reign defender Lu Barnes, San Diego Wave defender Naomi Girma and other NWSL players who are doing the same with their earnings. The money from the players and the pub is going toward Football For Her, a nonprofit dedicated to providing spaces and resources for young people who identify as female or nonbinary.

The pledge is made in partnership with Common Goal, an organization which wants to direct 1% of soccer’s annual revenue across the globe toward social change.

Barnes, Girma and Reign defender Alana Cook, who also pledges 1% of her salary to Football for Her, attended an event in celebration of Common Goal and Football for Her at Rough & Tumble last Thursday.

When Barnes was growing up, she had the opportunity to play soccer for free, which helped her both start and stick with the sport. Such opportunities are fewer and farther between as youth sports becomes more professionalized.

With their pledges, NWSL players and Rough & Tumble could help change that.

“When I go to stadiums after games and go to sign autographs, you see kids light up when they see someone who looks like you,” Cook told the Seattle Times. “If it takes 1% of my salary, one minute of my time to give them a role model, to give them an idea that this could be their pathway, it’s a no-brainer.”

The players who attended Thursday’s event also reveled in the atmosphere of the women’s sports bar, which also features a salads named after Barnes, Breanna Stewart and Serena Williams, as well as a fried chicken dinner named after Sue Bird.

“I feel like this is something that could happen in so many places and to see them push women’s sports to the forefront and really emphasize women is really good,” Girma told the Seattle Times.