Zach Schmid first learned about Athlete Ally when Hudson Taylor spoke at his school, Francis Paker, in San Diego in late 2013. An elite athlete himself, Zach is on the way to Harvard next year to punt for the Crimson. And he isn’t shy about being an ally, having worn an Athlete Ally sticker on his helmet in the US Army All-American Game.
So what inspires him to stand up for equality for the LGBT community?
“I have a very strong belief that we are all born equal regardless of gender, creed, orientation, ethnicity, etc.,” he says. “When I see that someone or a group of people is being discriminated, I feel that it is my moral obligation and ethical duty as both a christian and a citizen of this nation to express my concern and spread awareness about the issue.
He also has a particular affinity for a certain NFL punter whose known as one of the best allies football has ever seen.
“Especially as a fellow punter, I am inspired by and look up to Chris Kluwe. Kluwe discredits the notion that football players are just dumb jocks who like to hit each other. He was an honors student at UCLA that has since become an outspoken activist on top of being a professional football player,” he says. He has used his position as a professional athlete to campaign and advocate for gay rights, arguably costing him his job in the NFL. Besides this, he plays the bass in a band and is an avid gamer. In my opinion, he is the well-rounded renaissance man of sorts that can serve as a great role model to our youth.”
We are proud to call Zach a member of the Athlete Ally team, and sincerely look forward to working more with him.