“What is God’s plan for gay people?” An Instagram user asked. ” HELL. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” replied Australian Rugby Union player Israel Folau in a massive betrayal of the gay community after he so graced the cover of popular gay magazine “Star Observer.” Who had appeared in photos for an article about ending homophobia in Rugby. So much for that.

Unlike Folau, New Zealand’s famous rugby team, The “All Blacks” is taking steps to openly show their unity and support with the LGBTQ+ community and toward ending homophobia, not just in rugby but in all sports. In addition to their players speaking out against the homophobia, the All Blacks, in partnership with AIG released a very powerful video declaring their support and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people with their motto #DiversityIsStrength.

The most amazing part about this whole campaign, are the uniforms. While the jerseys are in the standard “All Blacks” color, the video shows a unique feature which reveals the colors of the rainbow when the fabric is stretched. In addition, the video shows many members of the crowd waving rainbow flags proudly.

This is one of the largest and most high profile shows of support from a professional sports team toward the LGBTQ+ community and will go a long way toward the fight to end homophobia that, as we’ve seen, is still very prevalent in sports.

By Dirk Smith