This past Tuesday Compete Magazine held its 2015 Compete Sports Diversity Awards which honored and celebrated a number of deserving athletes, individuals and organizations involved in the movement to make the sports community more diverse, accepting and inclusive.
Receiving the Legend Award was David Kopay, the first professional football player to come out as gay after retiring from the NFL in 1972. His courageous coming out proved to the public that professional athletes could be gay and good enough to play in the NFL, paving the way for other LGBT athletes to come out.
Jake Mason, founder and director of the WeHo Dodgeball League was named Compete’s Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year for his active participation in sports and his ongoing commitment to the LGBT community. He is eighth athlete to be honored with Compete’s oldest, most prestigious award.
Tyler Foerster was named Inspiring Athlete and he also accepted the award for the San Diego Bolts of the National Gay Flag Football League for winning the organization’s Gay Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. Lambda Basketball and the Surf and Sun Softball League were also honored.
Also honored in a dual presentation were Major League Baseball (MLB) for creating the position of Ambassador for Inclusion and the new Ambassador, former MLB out player Billy Bean who is working with major and minor league teams to help change the culture to one of inclusion. The Trailblazer Award went to Wade Davis, executive director of the You Can Play Project. Other professional organizations honored for their diversity work were the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Corporate Diversity Partner award went to Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P., the Bodhi Award for outstanding Community Organization went to the Desert AIDS Project while the AIDS Life/Cycle and its director, Kristin Flickinger were honored in a dual presentation as the Outstanding Community Organization.
Held at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, Eric Carlyle, Compete CEO, was joined by co-hosts David Rae, Compete’s 2011 Athlete of the Year, and sports personality Brittany Held.
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