Athlete Ally Action Awards to Honor Layshia Clarendon

July 31, 2023 – Today, Athlete Ally announced that WNBA player and Athlete Ally Ambassador Layshia Clarendon (he/she/they) will be honored at the 2023 Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering inclusive athletic environments and mobilizing the athletic community to champion LGBTQI+ equality. The awards ceremony will take place on Friday, October 20 at 7:00pm EST at the Chelsea Piers in New York City. Additional honorees include the Harvard Athlete Ally Campus Chapter, and other honorees who will be named in coming months. 

“We are thrilled to present Layshia Clarendon with an Athlete Ally Action Award in recognition of their incredible advocacy and leadership both on and off the court,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “Since joining us as an Athlete Ally Ambassador, Layshia has been a powerful voice for intersectional advocacy centering racial justice and LGBTQI+ equality, and as a person of faith who leads with compassion. He is truly a beacon of light for LGBTQI+ athletes and fans worldwide.”

“I’m so proud to be an Athlete Ally Ambassador and to accept an Athlete Ally Action Award,” said Layshia Clarendon. “Through the years, we have worked together to push for sports to reflect the true diversity of athletes across wide spectrums of gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, connections to faith and spirituality, and intersectionalities. I’m excited for what the future will hold as we keep up the fight for all youth to be their full selves while playing the sport they love.”

Selected #9 overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft, Layshia is currently playing with the Los Angeles Sparks. In their two terms as WNBPA Vice President, he helped negotiate a groundbreaking CBA Agreement that will serve as a bedrock for women’s professional sports leagues moving forward. In 2018, Layshia captured gold with Team USA in the FIBA World Championships. The previous season, Layshia was named a WNBA All-Star, led the league in total assists, and broke the franchise record for assists in a single season with the Atlanta Dream. 

Clarendon was Cal’s leading scorer while in college where they led the Golden Bears to the first Final Four in school history. During their senior season, she was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection and the Pac-12 women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In 2022, Layshia was inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Fame. 

Clarendon is a noted social advocate, speaker, and writer, who is often asked to lend their voice and opinions on various social topics. In 2020, Layshia Clarendon became the first out trans and nonbinary player in WNBA history. As an anchor athlete for Athletes for Impact, Layshia launched The Layshia Clarendon Foundation in 2021 to help broaden healthcare access for trans and nonbinary people. They have also been published in The Players’ Tribune, Mic, Esquire, and ESPN. In the off-season, you can find them on the sidelines providing color commentary for the Pac-12 Network.

To learn more or purchase tickets to the Awards, click here.

About Athlete Ally and the Action Awards

Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQI+ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQI+ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQI+ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQI+ equality in and through sport.

The Action Awards celebrate the groundbreaking actions of organizations and individuals that help create LGBTQI+ inclusive athletic environments and eliminate anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination at large.The generous philanthropy of our dedicated Corporate Sponsors, Host Committees, and Board of Directors make this event possible.