For the last several months, OutSports.com’s Cyd Ziegler, GLSEN’s Changing the Game Sports Project Director Pat Griffin and I have worked with Nike representatives to organize the groundbreaking, strategy-building summit that attracted dozens of leading organizations and people working to eliminate homophobia/ transphobia in sports.
The summit—held June 14 to June 18—was based on the belief that collaboration, communication, and coordination will accelerate change in the
culture of sports—making it more inclusive and respectful, and a safe, positive environment for LGBTQ sports participants and allies.
The summit focused on four key mainstream sport arenas: kindergarten through high school athletics and physical education; collegiate athletics; recreational sports; and professional sports. The summit took place over several days, with participants identifying specific action items to help combat homophobia and transphobia, and forming committees that will work together over the next year to set the actions in place.
“Having Nike, the sports industry giant, support this work sends a strong message to the entire athletic world that fairness and equality include
LGBTQ sports participants,” said Carroll. “All participants are excited to work together, and we look forward to the strides that will be made to make all playing fields more inclusive.”
Participants included: National Collegiate Athletic Association Executive Vice President and Chief Inclusion Officer Bernard Franklin; Portland State Basketball Coach Sherri Murrell; It Gets Better Campaign’s Stephanie Laffin; Stand Up Foundation’s Ben Cohen; CNN and ESPN’s
LZ Granderson; Oregon State Softball Coach Kirk Walker; transgender basketball player Kye Allums; Campus Pride’s Shane Windemeyer; You Can Play’s Patrick Burke; Athlete Ally’s Hudson
Taylor; and others from GLAAD, Pennsylvania State University; and the Gay Games.