NFL Announces 'Pride Night' at Super Bowl LVIII With No Openly Gay Players
Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.
While we are all for any LGBTQ+ recognition, this move couldn't be more ironic. For the third consecutive year, the NFL is hosting "A Night of Pride" on Feb. 7 as a lead-up to Super Bowl LVIII. However, the NFL still doesn't have any openly gay players.
As reported by Pride, the NFL said the evening will "spotlight advances in the future of LGBTQ inclusion in professional sports as well the NFL's commitment to LGBTQ former and current players." But some spectators might be left wondering, what advances?
GLAAD is partnering with the NFL on the night, and in a statement the organization announced that it is committed to creating LGBTQ+-friendly celebratory spaces.
"GLAAD's partnership with the NFL is committed to creating spaces where all fans can celebrate and to growing important visibility for LGBTQ fans at the Super Bowl and all season long," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in the league's official statement.
Previously, Pride nights have landed sports organizations in trouble, with some fans hoping teams and leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL also walk the walk in addition to talking the talk when it comes to LGBTQ+ support. In May, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they would be presenting a drag group called The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a Community Hero Award despite the teams policies and support of LGBTQ people being less than stellar. Then the Dodgers rescinded the group's invite after backlash.
"Let me be clear. This is NOT inclusion. LGBTQ rights and inclusion are rooted in protest and education. If you claim to stand for queer rights and joy yet fear controversy, get out of the way for others to do it right," said Tony Morrison, GLAAD's senior director of communications, in a tweet on May 18.
The NFL should take note.