LGBT rights have been kind of a hot topic within the world of sports this past year.
Now, the NFL Players’ Association has made it known exactly what side it’s on – and at the perfect time too, with June being LGBT Pride Month.
The NFLPA has teamed up with non-profit organization Athlete Ally to bring LGBT Pride-themed t-shirts to the NFLPA’s official One Team Shop. The shirts were created in honor of LGBT Pride Month, and a portion of all sale proceeds goes to Athlete Ally, a group that promotes tolerance of all people in the sports community regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The vintage-style tees are available in black with rainbow detailing and feature the NFLPA logo and a #Pride hashtag on the front, with players’ names and numbers on the back. Nine players have lent their names to the Pride shirts, including Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin, Raiders punter Chris Kluwe and others.
“June is a special month for the LGBT community. I am extremely excited that the NFLPA’s One Team Shop is adding its name to the list of ever-growing allies,” said Ayanbadejo, an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights. “The simple fact that football players believe in equality for every human being is going to make an impact on a lot of peoples’ lives.”
Kluwe, also known for his advocacy, had this to say:
“I am extremely proud to be a part of this collaboration between Athlete Ally and the NFLPA’s One Team Shop to raise awareness both of Pride month and the issue of tolerance and respect within the NFL itself. As players, we are role models to a wide variety of people, and this is a great way to send a message of empathy to those who love and watch the game. Also, I’m pretty stoked that people can buy something with my number on it.”