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LA Dodgers to wear special Pride caps in 2 games next month

A matchup with the Giants will be the first time 2 Major League Baseball teams wear the rainbow logo on the field

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LOS ANGELES – For this year’s LGBTQ+ Night, the players wearing Dodger Blue will also have the colors of Pride on their caps. The Dodgers announced Monday that on the night of June 3, when the team hosts the New York Mets, the players will wear custom caps that infuse the famous L.A. logo with the colors of the Progress Pride flag. 

And that’s not all. When the Dodgers visit San Francisco’s Oracle Park for the Giants’ Pride Day game, the two teams will make LGBTQ sports history: On June 11, both the Dodgers and Giants will wear caps with their custom rainbow logo on the field, the first time two MLB teams will take to the diamond in Pride gear. 

“I am incredibly proud to share this news,” said Dodgers senior VP of marketing, communication and broadcasting, Erik Braverman, the out gay baseball executive who wed his husband at Dodger Stadium in January. He shared the news with Instagram followers Monday. “We have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen and this is the year it will take place. The Dodgers and Giants are true leaders when it comes to equality and inclusion! 🏳️‍🌈 “

“The Los Angeles Dodgers are proud to stand with and recognize the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles and globally,” said Dodgers president and CEO, Stan Kasten, in a statement. “The Dodgers have a history of breaking barriers and we’re proud to be a part of another chapter in MLB history as the Dodgers and Giants each wear their team’s pride caps on June 11. While our organizations have a long-storied rivalry on the field, we stand together when it comes to equality for all.”

Courtesy of the LA Dodgers/MLB

By purchasing a special ticket package to the June 3 game at Dodger Stadium, fans will receive an exclusive commemorative Dodger LGBTQ+ game jersey featuring the team logo emblazoned in the traditional Pride flag colors. 

All fans will be treated to appearances by special guests including MMA trailblazer Fallon Fox, retired out gay umpire Dale Scott and MLB senior VP of diversity, equity and inclusion, Billy Bean, the commissioner’s special assistant. Other Pride activities will take place during and prior to its ninth annual LGBTQ+ Night game. That includes drink specials in the pavilion bars, a special recognition of frontline workers from Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community and Friday Night Fireworks, set to music mixed by DJ Bowie Jane, a Dodgers LGBTQ+ Night regular. The Singapore-born Wils is slated to sing the National Anthem. 

“The Dodgers annual Pride Night has become one of the most anticipated nights of the season,” Braverman added. “I am incredibly proud to have the added element of the on-field caps this year. I look forward to sharing these historic games with members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation promises to donate 50% of the proceeds of a  50/50 raffle to The Los Angeles LGBT Center, the world’s largest provider of programs and services for LGBT individuals.

Last year, as the L.A. Blade reported, the Giants made MLB history as the first baseball team to wear Pride colors in a game, with a custom rainbow logo patch on their uniforms. 

Giants manager Gabe Kaplan spoke to Outsports about the new history his team and the Dodgers will be making on June 11. 

“It is an honor to be a part of this moment,” Kapler said. “I hope everyone watching the game on June 11 sees the clear statement being made — we stand for equality and respect of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. Wearing the Pride logo is both a reminder of the discrimination the LGBTQ+ community faces and the importance of supporting and creating a more inclusive environment.”

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Mavericks’ Reggie Bullock, finalist for NBA award for LGBTQ+ advocacy

The NBA announced this week the guard-forward is one of the finalists for its 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

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Reggie Bullock (Dallas Mavericks/YouTube)

DALLAS – While San Francisco is celebrating the Golden State Warriors’ huge Wednesday night Game 1 victory over the Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Finals, LGBTQ groups in Dallas are cheering on Dallas’s Reggie Bullock for his work off the court. 

The NBA announced this week the guard-forward is one of the finalists for its 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, which honors players who have made strides in fighting for social justice and advocating for equality.

Other finalists include the Milwaukee Bucks’s Jrue Holiday, the Memphis Grizzlies’s Jaren Jackson Jr., the Minnesota Timberwolves’s Karl-Anthony Towns and the Toronto Raptors’s Fred VanVleet.

The NBA said Bullock’s push for LGBTQ equity stems from the 2014 murder of his sister, Mia Henderson, a transgender woman.

“Bullock has focused on acceptance of all people by working to create truly inclusive communities through neighborhood engagement and national efforts around the LGBTQ movement, including participating in the NYC Pride March, the GLAAD Media Awards, and NBA events for LGBTQ youth and allies,” according to an NBA news release. “Most recently, as part of the Mavs Take ACTION! initiative, Bullock participated in a courageous conversation as part of the HUDDLE series to uplift the trans community, amplify community organizations who are working to support and protect LGBTQ individuals, and create opportunities for allyship.”

Since joining the Mavs a year ago, Bullock, 31, has teamed-up with groups that include Abounding Prosperity, Dallas Southern Pride, House of Rebirth, The Black-Tie Dinner, the Resource Center, as well as the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation. That organization was founded in memory of a trans woman murdered in Dallas.

On this year’s International Day of Trans Visibility, March 31, Bullock joined the founder of the Muhlashia Booker Foundation, Stephanie Houston, and Leslie McMurray, Transgender Education & Advocacy Associate for a session titled, Voices Unheard, Uplifting Trans Perspectives. 

He shared memories of his sister Mia and how her murder motivated him to use his platform as an NBA player to fight for equal rights and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bullock has also started his own charitable organization, RemarkaBULL, which provides housing and support to members of the LGBTQ+ community in need. Through RemarkaBULL, Bullock wrote an open letter to the NCAA protesting Idaho’s anti-trans student-athlete House Bill 500, which was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little in March of 2020. The law is on hold pending a review by a federal court.

The winner of the Social Justice Award will be announced during the Western Conference Finals, now underway. The winner receives $100,000 donated to the charity of their choice, and the other finalists receive $25,000 donations for their organizations. Bullock’s charity of choice is Kinston Teens, which empowers young people to engage in activism and community development.

In Wednesday night’s Western Conference Final game 1, Bullock scored 12 points, shooting 3/10 3-pt and 3 rebounds in the Mavericks’ 87-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Game 2 is set to tip off Friday at 9 p.m. ET, Golden State leads 1-0.

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Blackpool’s Jake Daniels- First Out UK pro soccer player in 30 years

The Blackpool FC forward joins with Justinus Soni “Justin” Fashanu as the only two footballers to declare themselves openly Out

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Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels/Blackpool FC UK

BLACKPOOL, Lancashire, England – A seventeen-year-old professional soccer player has made history as only the second person in the past 30 years to acknowledge their sexual orientation publicly in the sport in the United Kingdom.

Blackpool FC forward Jake Daniels joins with Justinus Soni “Justin” Fashanu as the only two footballers to declare themselves openly Out. Fashanu had come out in an exclusive with The Sun tabloid newspaper on October 22, 1990 and later retired in 1997. He later passed away in London in May 1998.

Daniels made his announcement via a statement released by the team on its webpage:

“This season has been a fantastic one for me on the pitch. I’ve made my first-team debut, scored 30 goals for the youth team, signed my first professional contract and shared success with my team-mates, going on a great run in the FA Youth Cup and lifting the Lancashire FA Pro-Youth Cup. 

But off the pitch I’ve been hiding the real me and who I really am. I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself.

It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.        

In reaching this point, I’ve had some of the best support and advice from my family, my Club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly pro-active in putting my interests and welfare first. I have also confided in my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.   

I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.

There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.

You being you, and being happy, is what matters most.

Jake”

The team itself also noted:

“Blackpool Football Club has worked closely with Stonewall and the relevant footballing organisations to support Jake and is incredibly proud that he has reached a stage where he is empowered to express himself both on-and-off the pitch.

It is vital that we all promote an environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves, and that football leads the way in removing any form of discrimination and prejudice.”

The largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation in the UK, Stonewall tweeted:

Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in seaside resort of Blackpool on the Irish Sea coast of England.

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Trey McBride is the first NFL player ever drafted to have same-sex parents

“It’s heartwarming- they’ve been great role models for me & my brothers so it’s cool how they raised us & it’s just very special for us”

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NFL Draft pick Trey McBride & parents (Screenshot/NBC TODAY)

FORT MORGAN, Co. – Although not one football player drafted by NFL teams this weekend publicly identifies as anything other than straight or cisgender, the Arizona Cardinals made LGBTQ sports history Saturday with their second-round pick of Trey McBride. The two-time All American tight end from Colorado State University is the son of two very proud lesbian moms, and the first NFL player ever drafted who has parents in a same-sex relationship. 

“This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” McBride told the Fort Collins Colorodan. “To finally be drafted and to be officially an NFL player, this is, man, this is so special.” 

Trey, 22, is 6-foot-4, weighs 246 pounds and caught 90 balls for 1,121 yards last year. He’s one of five children Kate McBride has with her longtime partner, Jen. Trey has a twin brother, Dylan, two older brothers named Bryce and Toby, who was a star linebacker in Fort Collins, and a younger sister named Taya. 

Their moms said they countered the possibility their children might be bullied because of their relationship, by raising them to recognize what they had as a family.

“You always worry about your kids,” Jen told NBC earlier this week. “Because we were all kids. We know how kids are. But the main thing with them is, be confident in who you are. You come from a family that every single one of us are in your corner, no matter what, anytime in the day. So, nobody really talked about bullying.”

Trey called growing up with his moms “pretty special.”

“It’s heartwarming and they’ve been great role models for me and my brothers, so it’s cool to see how they raised us and it’s just very special for us,” he said.

“I’m excited to see him just live his dream,” Kate told the Today show. “When your kid comes to you when they’re little and they say they want to be president, you’re like, ‘OK, honey, that’s great.’ He wanted to play in the NFL, and he’s going to do it.”

“I’m excited as heck,” the newly-minted Arizona Cardinal said after becoming the 55th selection on Friday night. “I feel like I can run through a brick wall right now.”

McBride’s selection wasn’t the only LGBTQ highlight of the 2022 NFL Draft, but once again it was the Arizona Cardinals who were responsible for making it happen.

When the team selected San Diego State defensive end Cameron Thomas with their third-round pick Friday night, the 87th overall, they did so with the help of members of the National Gay Flag Football League, who announced Thomas in a historic move to promote inclusivity.

“Both the NFL and the Cardinals enjoy strong support from a large, diverse fan base and the LGBTQ+ community is certainly part of that,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill told KNXV-TV. “Including members of this community among the many fans representing teams throughout the draft is part of an important and intentional effort that these types of league events reflect as wide and inclusive a cross-section of our fan base as possible.”

Joel Horton, who played in Phoenix for the PGFFL and is currently the league’s Gay Bowl liaison, was joined by NGFFL Commissioner Shigeo Iwamiya and Jodie Turner, who is on the league’s Board of Directors.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Horton, who became the first out gay person to announce an NFL draft pick.

“They could have easily done this without us,” Iwamiya told KNXV-TV, “but the fact they went out of their way to do this means so much to a sports organization regardless of who they are.” 

The player they announced, Cameron Thomas, is 6-foot-4, weighs 267-pounds and won the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and was an AP All-American. 

Right now in the NFL, there is only one out gay player, Carl Nassib, who was released last month by the Las Vegas Raiders. He was the first-ever active NFL player to come out as gay.

Free agent R.K. Russell came out as bisexual three years ago but has not yet been re-signed by a team. It will be eight years ago next month that Michael Sam made history as the first out gay man to be drafted by an NFL team. After a long absence, Sam is finally back on the gridiron as a defensive line coach for the Barcelona Dragons of the European league. 

Retired lineman Ryan O’Callaghan told students in a talk at Drexel University earlier this month that he expects two or more players to come out as gay, “probably in this off-season.”

Trey McBride Set To Be One Of The First NFL Draft Pick With Same-Sex Parents:

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