Sport has the power to bring people together across divides, to inspire empathy, and to build a more inclusive society. Today in Florida, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Florida Panthers and Miami Heat have powerfully stood in solidarity with LGBTQ Floridians by signing onto a joint statement of support calling for LGBTQ protection under the law. This statement responds to the lack of protections for LGBTQ state workers under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order on discrimination.
There is no comprehensive statewide law in Florida that clearly protects the LGBTQ community from discrimination, and just days ago a potentially devastating preemption measure (HB 3) advanced in the Florida House that could threaten existing nondiscrimination protections currently covering 60% of Floridians. Especially in the wake of the tragic 2016 Pulse shooting which specifically targeted LGBTQ people and took 49 innocent lives, the need for codified protections has never been more clear.
We are proud to have worked with Equality Florida—a nonprofit securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community— to help mobilize the athletic community on this. Today, these teams call upon Governor DeSantis to amend Executive Order 1910 to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Please read the statement here.