Venice Pride announced this afternoon that the Los Angeles Rams, the new-but-native NFL team in town, will help light up Venice with rainbow colors alongside Google, BCG Digital Ventures, and others in June as part of the month-long Venice Pride Sign display.
The team has joined Venice Pride as a bronze-level sponsor and has adopted 14 blue lights in the letter “C” of the famous VENICE sign, heralding the start of the 2nd annual pride celebration on the beach.
Grant Turck, co-founder and executive director of Venice Pride, said this is the first time an NFL team has officially sponsored an LGBT pride event. “We are thrilled the Los Angeles Rams has chosen our celebration to make this welcome and historic overture of inclusion to the LGBT community. It’s great for Venice, for the Rams’ organization and for the LGBT community. Hopefully this is the beginning of even bolder outreach efforts to our diverse community”
“We are proud to work with Venice Pride and to stand in alignment with the LGBT community that is such an important part of the fabric of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Rams Vice President of Community Affairs Molly Higgins. “Inclusion has always been a valued part of our organization and we see this as a unique way to publicly celebrate the diversity that makes this community so special.”
The team, before relocating to Los Angeles from St. Louis, already had a ground breaking track record in LGBT rights, being the first team in history to draft an openly gay player, Michael Sam.
The St. Louis Rams picked Sam in the seventh round, the 249th of 256 players selected in the 2014 draft. He became the NFL’s first out gay player, an event so important that even President Obama hailed the decision. “Congratulations to Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey” he said. “From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.” St. Louis Rams jerseys bearing his name became a top seller.
Last fall, in a report on Outsports.com, Higgins declared the team’s support for LGBT inclusive diversity. “As a member of the LGBT community, I know our interest in the pursuit of equality is authentic and it’s integrated into our overall organizational strategy. We value diversity and believe we are a stronger team because of it,” she told Cyd Zeigler.
Venice Pride kicks off on June 2, 2017 and thousands are expected to attend the 2 day event.
Other sponsors include: Human Rights Campaign, Keller Williams Realty, Townhouse Venice and more.