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Minneapolis to host first-ever NFL-sponsored LGBT party during Super Bowl week

Esera Tuaolo

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Esera Tuaolo is hosting the first ever NFL-supported Inclusion Party during Super Bowl week in Minneapolis to foster diversity and inclusion—especially LGBT inclusion—in the National Football League (“NFL”).   Through the popularity of the world’s largest professional sporting event, organizers hope the party will promote equality and acceptance in all professional sporting disciplines, and in society as a whole.

The Super Bowl Week’s Inclusion Party will be a yearly event administered in the city hosting the Super Bowl and is the first and only event of its kind. The party will consist of a night of dancing, food & refreshments; and live performances featuring contestants from Season 13 of “The Voice.”  Hosted at the Pourhouse in Downtown Minneapolis, nearly 1000 guests are expected to attend the inaugural event.

A significant portion of the money obtained through the party will be donated annually to diversity centers and anti-bullying organizations within the host city.  This year’s donations will go specifically to the Hate In Any Form Is Wrong non-profit, the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and Avenues for Homeless Youth – all based in Minneapolis.   The event is media-sponsored by GLAAD, a dynamic media advocacy group that works to shape the narrative of LGBTQ acceptance and create a world where everyone can authentically be themselves and live the life they love.

LGBT diversity in the NFL has remained extraordinarily low, and during almost a century of its existence, there have been only seven known gay NFL players –David Kopay, Jerry Smith, Ray McDonald, Esera Tuaolo, Kwame Harris, and Ryan O’Callaghan.  Four additional players came out as gay, but were released before playing a single regular season game – Wade Davis, Dorien Bryant, Brad Thorson, and Michael Sam.

Orgainizer Esera Tuaolo said,  “In my NFL days I learned first hand what It is like to feel different or not included, especially in the professional sports world where there are unfortunately a lot of stigmas that still exist.  While we have made some great progress in this movement, we have a long way to go.  This is an event which is well overdue and I’m so happy to have the official support of the NFL to make the Inclusion Party the first of its kind.  This is not a gay party or a straight party, It is a party to celebrate diversity in all forms, and for anyone who has ever felt that they don’t belong.”

A online auction is being held via CharityBuzz to support INCLUSION PARTY, with the following rare VIP package:

  • 2 Tickets to the Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, MN – Section 345 row A, presented by the NFL
  • Travel Package for 2 roundtrip tickets to the Super Bowl from the Continental US, and 2 Nights Hotel presented by Gay Games 10 Paris (*cash equivalent available for Local Winners)
  • 2 Taste of the NFL party (the hottest annual party of the weekend!), presented by General Mills
  • 2 tickets to the Esera Tuaolo Inclusion Party, presented by Adidas
  • 2 Official NFL Tailgate party, presented by the NFL
  • 2 Official NFL Experience, presented by the NFL
  • Gift Bag of signed NFL merchandise

For the online auction go here.

The Inclusion Party’s three objectives:

–       Eliminate the explicit and implicit bias and stereotypes that the NFL requires the utmost stereotypical masculinity, brute force, and callous strength and that LGBT people and athletes are weak, fragile and easily subdued, by bringing the NFL and the LGBT communities closer together.

–       Support the idea that inclusion comes from changing the whole NFL environment, not just relying on LGBT players to do all the work. The party will bring together people of all identities—coaches, players, team owners, fans, and the like of all sexualities and genders—to publicly show support for inclusion and change in and around the NFL.

–       Cultivate a hate-free zone on which gay athletes can rely, whether closeted or open with their sexuality. Players will have a whole organization and many readily identifiable allies for support.

For tickets go here.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=85223

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018. Filed under Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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