University of Connecticut football team hosts first LGBTQ+ Pride Game

The University of Connecticut is moving the conversation about LGBTQ allyship and representation in sports forward in a BIG way!

According to Out Magazine, the school announced that its football team, The Huskies, will host its first LGBTQ+ Pride Game when it plays Middle Tennessee State University tonight! 

In addition to holding a Pride game, the team will also wear special Pride stickers on their helmets which show their mascot’s silhouette against a rainbow backdrop. The Pride game will be the team’s first to be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.

The game will open up with the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus singing the national anthem, while coaches and other staff will wear special Pride pins. The first 500 fans to enter the gates will receive a free rainbow headband to wear throughout the game. 

“We are happy to host the first Pride Game in our history,” said David Benedict, director of athletics, in a statement.

This announcement comes at a very polarizing but important and crucial time for LGBTQ+ people in the international sports industries. Numerous sports players have been coming out of the closet, such as Raiders’ defensive end Carl Nassib, who famously came out as gay during Pride Month earlier this year, American rugby player Devin Ibañez, Australian rugby player Dan Palmer, Swiss basketball player Marco Lehmann, and many others. 

Concurrently, many legislators, both nationally and internationally, have been attempting to pass laws that discriminate against trans sports players. One of the leaders in this fight for trans visibility in sports, British trans male rugby player Verity Smith, has been speaking out against such laws, including World Rugby’s decision to ban trans players, publicly. 

Earlier this year, Verity, who was nominated for the Positive Role Model Award (LGBT) at Britain’s National Diversity Awards 2021, made an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch to discuss Caitlyn Jenner’s comments in which she states that she opposes transgender girls competing in female sports at school. While there, Verity discusses his belief that there should be no discrimination when it comes to sports alongside transgender newscaster and reality TV personality, India Willoughby, who supports Caitlyn Jenner’s statements.  

Here’s to hope that all of these efforts will lead to greater acceptance and understanding of LGBTQ+ people in sports! 

BWM Staff

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