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Sports

NCLR’s Sports Project aims to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender players, coaches, and administrators receive fair and equal treatment—free of discrimination. Founded in 2001, the Sports Project has litigated cases on behalf of LGBTQ athletes and coaches, advised schools and athletic associations, and convened key coalitions to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. NCLR co-founded and participates in a coalition of LGBTQ sports leaders from across the country that works to combat anti-LGBTQ bias in sports. The coalition brings together college and professional athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, political figures, LGBTQ advocates and sports organizations to examine best practices, troubleshoot common problems, and develop strategies to tackles anti-LGBTQ bias at every competition level.

Advocacy

Legislation & Policy

Common Ground Initiative

Nationwide

NCLR partners with the NCAA in the Common Ground Initiative to increase dialogue at conservative religious colleges about how LGBTQ inclusion and respect for religion can operate together to create safer, healthier, and more inclusive environments for student athletes—and by extension for all students.

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Cases & Advocacy

Apilado. v. North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association

Washington

LaRon Charles, Jon Russ and Steven Apilado had been playing softball together in the San Francisco Gay Softball League for years. Their team had competed in the Gay Softball World Series organized by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), but had never finished better than fourth place. At the 2008 World Series in Seattle, the team made it all the way to the championship game, when they were shocked to learn that their eligibility to play was being challenged based on a NAGAAA rule limiting the number of non-gay players who could play on a World Series team.

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Resources

Press Release

NCLR Hails U.S. Soccer Board of Directors Resolution to Adopt a Ban on Discriminatory Chants at Games in the U.S., Urges Formalized Policy As Quickly as Possible

March 4, 2022. Today, the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors passed a resolution to adopt a ban on discriminatory chants at all soccer matches sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. The Board will next convert the “zero-tolerance” resolution towards homophobic chants into a formal policy for enforcement at all matches that U.S. Soccer hosts or sanctions in the United States.

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Publications

First Line of Defense: Essential Legal Protections for LGBTQ Coaches and Staff

There have been many advances in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights. From national marriage equality to increased employment protections, LGBTQ people are taking bold steps toward achieving equal treatment in all fields, including athletics. However, in order to protect your rights, you must first know what they are—at the federal level, at the state and county or city level, and at your employment institutions. Download PDF

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