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Today Athlete Ally launches its Equality Bracket, a Final Four-focused project to celebrate states and cities that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination.
“Increasingly, the sports community’s passion for equality and inclusion extends beyond the field of play,” explained Ashland Johnson, Athlete Ally Director of Policy and former NCAA D-1 basketball player. “This year we wanted to celebrate and reward that passion by creating the Equality Bracket, highlighting teams in cities and states with LGBT protections. The Equality Bracket is about encouraging the sports community to cheer for LGBT equality as they celebrate March Madness.”
This effort includes an Equality Bracket Pool looking at the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament teams. Each team was selected based on two criteria:
Currently, in 33 states across the country, LGBT people are not fully protected from discrimination: this means LGBT people can be legally fired from their jobs, kicked out of their homes, or denied service at a restaurant, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Supporters of LGBT equality are encouraged to check out the Equality Bracket Pool at EqualityBracket.org to see if their favorite teams made the cut. Additionally, supporters will be asked to join the Athlete Ally Equality Brackets at ESPN.com.
See EqualityBracket.org for a full list of teams and more information.
Athlete Ally’s mission is to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBT equality. Founded in 2011, Athlete Ally has worked with the NBA, WNBA, and MLB on matters of LGBT respect and inclusion; led the Principle 6 campaign that helped convince the International Olympic Committee to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause of the Olympic Charter; and counts more than 145 college, professional, and Olympic athletes among its dedicated and active Ambassadors.