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Today Athlete Ally announces the launch of EveryFan, a national campaign that will engage athletic leagues, teams, athletes, and fans in a celebratory dialogue around fan culture. The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks join 35 professional athletes — including tennis champ Mardy Fish, World Cup Champs Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger, Olympian Greg Louganis, pioneers Jason Collins and Michael Sam — and seven colleges in signing on to EveryFan and calling for all fans to be treated fairly.
“We created EveryFan because we believe all fans, including LGBT fans, should have a great experience cheering on their favorite teams and athletes,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “But not everyone feels welcome and safe at sporting events, and it’s time that changed. A recent study* found that 83% of participants believed that an openly gay person would not be very safe as a spectator at a sporting event.”
Those who have joined the EveryFan campaign have signed on to the below:
“We believe that every fan must have an equally positive experience and must treat each other and be treated with dignity and respect. We believe every fan, including LGBT fans, should be treated equally, at our games and in their lives. We support equality for every fan. It’s good for our teams. It’s good for sports. And it’s the right thing to do.”
Sports fans are being asked to join EveryFan today, pledging to support equality for their fellow fans and pledging to treat their fellow fans with dignity and respect at EveryFan.org.
Hear from those who have joined EveryFan:
Chris Kluwe, Former NFL Punter – Minnesota Vikings
“Every fan should be treated with dignity and respect. Gay, straight, transgender, it doesn’t matter. Every fan who wants to be a part of sports should be welcomed and included.”
Mardy Fish, ATP Tennis Champion
“Just a few years ago I was American No. 1 in the ATP rankings. But then I began to struggle with anxiety. It was tough. I wasn’t sure if I would play tennis again, or how my fans would feel. The outpouring of support from my fans was incredible. They truly will support me through anything. That’s why I support EveryFan. Because all fans, including LGBT fans, should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Robbie Rogers, Major League Soccer Player – LA Galaxy
“There is nothing I am more proud of than being my true self on and off the field. That’s why I want all my fans to feel like they can be themselves, inside the arena, and in their everyday lives. I support EveryFan because I want every one of my fans to live an authentic life, and to feel that they are welcome in sports.”
Erlana Larkins, WNBA Player – Indiana Fever
“Sports bring people together. Every fan, no matter who they are or who they love, should feel welcome to be a part of sports. That’s what I believe, and that’s why I support EveryFan.”
Joe Valentine, Former MLB Pitcher – Cincinnati Reds
“As a former MLB pitcher raised in a loving home by two moms, supporting EveryFan is a no-brainer. Every fan should be treated fairly and equally, inside and outside the stadium. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you love: if you’re a fan, baseball should welcome you.”
Karima Christmas, WNBA Player – Dallas Wings
“On the court, I treat everyone the same. That’s what principles of basketball have taught me. Off the court, everyone should be treated the same, too. Every fan, including LGBT fans, should be treated fairly and equally.”
“Cornell University clearly states that we are rooted in values of collegiality and civility. We believe we should be open, respectful, understanding, and positive. That’s why we joined EveryFan. Every student, staff member, student-athlete, and Big Red fan should be treated with collegiality and civility. We are proud to treat every fan with respect, and we ask that all Big Red fans treat each other with respect as well.”
A full list of teams, athletes, and universities signed on so far is available at EveryFan.org
To learn more, visit EveryFan.org and check #EveryFan on social media.
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.
* Out on the Fields: http://www.outonthefields.com/