Both as individuals and as a society we can’t always agree on things like religion, politics and our favorite sports teams. But we all can agree that sports has a unifying effect, noted not only by Nelson Mandela but more recently even by the Vatican. Compete’s mission is to unite the world through sports but we know there are some who wonder why we should continue Pride celebrations and separate LGBTQ sports teams and leagues.
Pride and LGBTQ sports gatherings are more than just a big rainbow-themed party with lots of alcohol and wild costumes for amazement, amusement and/or shock value. It’s to remind the world that at the most basic level each one of us is a human being worthy of the same dignity and respect as everyone else. Pride gives members of the LGBTQ community and their many allies an opportunity to say, “Gay people exist; we’re your friends, neighbors, co-workers and yes, your family members – don’t continue to marginalize us.” Pride still matters!
So whether you celebrate Pride at a parade, a race or a sports tournament, enjoy the moment with the realization that you’re also showing the world that inclusion, equality and diversity in sports really does work. And since Pride season is also baseball/softball season with a hint of football to come, here are some pictures and stories on Major League Baseball (MLB), gay flag football’s Pride Bowl and gay softball players swinging for the fence, showing some of the ways many gay and straight athletes are celebrating Pride 2017. Enjoy!
By Connie Wardman
Part one of three of our Pride Month Sports Feature.