Featured in the July/ August 2018 Issue of Compete Magazine
As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, Compete Magazine gives out High Fives each month to deserving athletes, teams, leagues, organizations and corporations as well as high profile celebrities for their contributions to promote diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance for all. Here are five who get a High Five for a job well done!
- Collin Martin, Professional Major League Soccer Player
For having the courage to come out as gay, making him now the only openly LGBTQ athlete in U.S. professional team sports.
Collin Martin Tweets:
“Tonight my team, Minnesota United, is having their Pride night. It’s an important night for me – I’ll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates. I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay. I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.
“As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly. June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”
- Used with permission of Collin Martin
- Catherine (CJ) Kelly, SDL, NAGAAA Business Development Director
For being selected to serve on Connect Sports’ Marketplace Advisory Board.
- LeBron James, NBA Lakers
For opening his “I Promise” school for at-risk kids in Akron which includes full wraparound support for students and their families. James said, “… Akron, Ohio is always home for me. Always.”
For hosting NAGAAA’s Gay Softball World Series 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Join the Come to Play team headed by Scott Switzer, executive director and director of FUNdraising/special events, Terri Goddard.
- National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG)
For holding its 38th NVWG in Orlando. The largest annual wheelchair sports competition of its kind in the world, more than 750 athletes are expected to participate in a full menu of adaptive sports.
Photo by Collin Martin