From MUSED Magazine Online –
BY MUSED MAG ONLINE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013
Homosexuality in sports is making its way to forming more allies and safe havens for those who are active participants in the game.
An alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sports leaders from across the country has announced the second annual Nike LGBT Sports Summit in Portland, June 12-15
Even before Jason Collins decided to reveal his sexuality and love for basketball, the sports industry rallied around to help encourage players to be comfortable with their sexuality. The Sports Summit will bring together college and professional athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, political figures, LGBT advocates and sports organizations to combat anti-LGBT bias in sports.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) released a press release earlier today. The NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
The press release states:
Over three days, attendees will develop a strategy that embraces LGBT diversity on the courts and playing fields. They will examine best practices, troubleshoot common problems, and develop projects to tackle anti-LGBT bias in kindergarten through professional sports.
The group will also formalize the creation of the LGBT Sports Coalition, a framework to unite the movement toward equality in sports with one goal: End anti-LGBT bias in sports by 2016. Last year’s summit, held at Nike World Headquarters, brought together 25 leading organizations and individuals who began working together toward that goal.
The sports world has experienced a dramatic shift since the first summit, with professional athletes coming out, scores of universities forming LGBT/Straight Athletic Alliances, national and local sports bodies implementing LGBT-inclusive policies, and the sports media focusing more attention on this issue.
“It’s been incredible to watch the sea change in sports on LGBT issues in the last year,” said Cyd Zeigler. “The advances we’ve seen haven’t been accidents but the result of the very deliberate efforts by coalition members to make sports more welcoming to all fans, employees, and athletes.”
More people than ever before now understand that the acceptance of anti-LGBT attitudes is destructive to team development as well as harmful to athletes. Core to the mission of the coalition is the goal of empowering LGBT athletes and coaches to be true to themselves and reach their full potential.
“Recognizing our coalition formally will enhance the work we must accomplish together,” said Pat Griffin.