Saturday, June 15, 2013

Second Annual Nike LGBT Sports Summit Happening This Weekend

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The first half of 2013 has seen some interesting and dramatic events happening in the world of sports from a TBLG perspective with the coming outs of NBA baller Jason Collins, WNBA rookie ball player Brittney Griner, women's MMA fighter Fallon Fox and soccer player Robbie Rogers.

Rogers later became the first openly gay player to join an MLS team when he signed with the LA Galaxy. 

It has seen NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo boldly speak up as allies for the TBLG community on marriage equality and other issues of importance to the community.

It has also seen in the first half of this year some positive and especially in Fallon Fox's case viciously negative commentary and epic ignorance spew forth from people inside and outside the sports world in reaction to those events.

This weekend in Portland, OR the second annual Nike LGBT Sports Summit commenced on June 12 and ends today with the lofty goal of eliminating anti-trans and anti-gay bias in sports by 2016.

The summit is sponsored by Nike and organized by Outsports blog founder Cyd Zeigler, the National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project Director Helen Carroll and LGBT sports pioneer Pat Griffin. 

One of the people who is on the scene this weekend from our community is Kye Allums.

Also attending the LGBT Sports Summit are college and professional athletes, coaches, athletic administrators, political figures, LGBT advocates, journalists and allies along with representatives from GLAAD, the United States Olympic Committee, GLSEN, the NCAA, Athlete Ally, USA Wrestling, You Can Play; Campus Pride; StandUp Foundation; Equality Coaching Alliance, the Federation of Gay Games and ESPN.

The attendees are there to form the LGBT Sports Coalition, an umbrella org that will have as its mission formulating the strategies necessary to achieve the goal of eliminating anti-trans and antigay bias in sport by 2016. 

While there has been some amazing progress in letting our people play sports over the last few years, it's clear we have a long way to go to bust stereotypes and eliminate bigotry in the collegiate, professional and international sporting ranks.

The Nike Sports Summit is a step forward toward accomplishing that Herculean task.

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