Soon after the horrific June 12, 2016 shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Orlando Pride goalie and team captain Ashlyn Harris stood tall as a leader for her city.
She spoke unabashedly about needing people to elevate love in order for hate to disappear.
“It’s hard to talk about for me, it’s hard for me to not get emotional,” she said. “This stuff has got to stop and we can’t be silent anymore. We’ve been silent for too long. [. . . A lot of] my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community have been taken and I’m no longer gonna be quiet about it.
“And as a country, we can’t stand for this. We’re supposed to protect each other…
“We’re gonna rebuild this city, we’re gonna bring hope and love back here because one act is not gonna break us, it’s not gonna define us because we’re one, Orlando is one and we’re united and we’re gonna be OK.” (Orlando Sentinel)
On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, Harris sat down with WESH2 and shared her thoughts on the event that temporarily shattered her hometown.
“The greatest honor I’ve ever had was representing this city and this club during that time. Nothing will trump that. No World Cup championship, no Olympic gold medal,” she said.
The interview is well worth your time.
If it’s true that great leaders don’t create more followers; they create more leaders, then Harris is well on her way to building a strong Orlando.