By Eric Carlyle

Pride Month – our favorite time of year at Compete! Even with COVID-19 causing delays and cancellations in sports this year the continued growth of events from MLB “Pride Nights” to flag-football’s Pride Bowl, the intersection of pride and sports is more evident this year than ever before.

Over the nearly 14 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 has been a strong partner to Gay Bowl and the New York Giants and New York Jets Foundation partnered last year 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 distribute $12,000 to be distributed to 501(c)3 charities after last year’s Pride Bowl XII.

And perhaps the best news is that the New York Yankees held a Pride Night last year, being the final MLB team to do so. 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 51 years of LGBTQ+ Pride we am excited about the role each of us plays in the next 51 years.