Featured in our 5th Annual Faces of Sports Issue!
As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, Compete Magazine gives out High Fives each issue 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!
… and its award-winning director/producer Seth Greenleaf and executive producer, Emmy Awardwinner and Academy Award nominee Sam Pollard for the film now becoming available for digital download through iTunes and Amazon.
A timeless feature-length documentary, it has won the hearts of minds of countless viewers. It follows 26 teams of the National Gay Flag Football League’s (NGFFL) 400 openly gay athletes for five days as they give it all they’ve got to win the Gay Bowl. Garnering rave reviews on the festival circuit, it won Audience Choice Awards from Phoenix to Philadelphia and kicked off its theatrical release last year during Gay Pride in New York City.
“To continue the progress for gay rights in America, it’s crucial to break down those final strongholds of prejudice and inequality. … We must unlink the association between ‘gay’ and ‘weak’ and allow the next generation of young gay men and women to be accepted as the athletes they are, without prejudice or negative consequence. As an athlete my entire life and having learned so much about myself through sports, I feel it is vital to make these opportunities available and welcoming to all.” – Seth Greenleaf
Los Angeles Lakers
… for holding its first Pride Night October 4 and inviting the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles to sing the National Anthem. Retired NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay professional male athlete in the U.S. to come out while still playing, was honored with the Lace of Unity Award. Collins now serves as an NBA Cares ambassador.
Mike Parrow, Openly Gay Professional Wrestler
… for wearing an LGBTQ rainbow pride flag as he entered the ring for his championship match at the NWA’s 70th Anniversary’s pay-for-view telecast and the commentators actually made mentioned it.
Boston Red Socks
… for making a $200,000 pledge in partnership with Fenway Sports Group President Mike Gordon’s Gordon Family Foundation to support its neighborhood LGBTQ health center, Fenway Health. This was part of Spirit Day, the global LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign held during National Bullying Month.
New York Islanders
… for announcing on National Coming Out Day a new partnership with the LGBT Network to expand its anti-bully initiative. The hockey team was the first professional sport franchise in any league to participate in the LGBT Network’s National Coming Out Day campaign, now in its 17th year.