Pride Month – our favorite time of year at Compete! And as we finalize this issue of Compete, the growth of events from MLB “Pride Nights” to flag-football’s Pride Bowl XII, the intersection of pride and sports is more evident this year than ever before.
Over the nearly 13 years we’ve been publishing Compete Magazine it really is a privilege to see everyone’s pride showing, something LGBTQ+ athletes could hardly imagine even five-to-ten years ago. This year we see a significant uptick in Pride involvement by professional sports with LGBTQ+ recreational sports. For example, the NFL just announced its partnership with Gay Bowl XIX and the New York Giants and New York Jets Foundation are also partnering with the tournament which is the LGBTQ+ equivalent of the Super Bowl.
Corporate partners are also upping their involvement with Pride. Los Angels Pride is now presented by Verizon. Companies like MillerCoors, Absolute Vodka and Tito’s Handmade Vodka have become prominent sponsors at many LGBTQ+ sporting events. As part of its agreement, Love, Tito’s has committed $12,000 to be distributed to 501(c)3 charities after Pride Bowl XII.
And perhaps the best news is that the NY Yankees, the last MLB club to hold a Pride Night, has finally scheduled one this at year at its June 25 game. But they have also created the Yankees Stonewall Scholars program and awarded five $10,000 scholarships to LGBTQ+ students, one from each of the five New York boroughs, who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.
At Compete Sports Diversity we are proud of what we have always given back to the community throughout the years. But this time of year really is extra special. We know that by giving back to those that support us we all benefit. That is why we started Compete in 2006 and that is why we all get up every day and come to work committed to our mission of Uniting the World Through Sports.
As we celebrate the last 50 years of LGBTQ+ Pride I am excited about the role each of us plays in the next 50 years and excited about our “100 Years of Gay Sports” issue due in 2069 (I’m already planning my letter).