New York (September 10, 2018) – Today, Athlete Ally announced that Jemele Hill will be honored at the Fifth Annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering inclusive athletic environments and mobilizing the athletic community to champion LGBTQ equality. The awards ceremony, which will also honor tennis icon Billie Jean King and trans rugby player Shawn Gatewood, will take place October 6th at the New York Historical Society in New York City.
Award-winning sports journalist Jemele Hill made national news in October 2017 when she was suspended by ESPN for speaking out on social justice issues, and refusing to “stick to sports.” From calling out white supremacy to defending NFL players’ right to protest racial injustice and police brutality, Hill has boldly demonstrated how those in sport and the media can leverage their platforms and influence to drive social change.
In highlighting the ties between sport and social justice, Hill exemplifies the activism Athlete Ally hopes to cultivate in and through our work. In July, she moderated a panel on athlete activism at an event co-hosted by Athlete Ally and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) in Los Angeles. Speaking to a room of student-athletes from UCLA and USC, Hill guided a critical conversation on the importance of calling out injustice on and off the field. Hill has accepted a buyout from ESPN and will be pursuing opportunities to broaden her advocacy efforts. Athlete Ally looks forward to working with Jemele on these efforts.
“Sports media shapes the narrative of sport culture by determining which stories deserve visibility,” said Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally. “Through her journalism, Jemele Hill has fought for marginalized voices to be centered and celebrated in the spaces they most need to be heard. To bring about the change Athlete Ally hopes to see in the world, we need more Jemeles out there. We’re thrilled to present her with an Action Award in recognition of her bold advocacy for racial, gender and LGBTQ justice.”
“I’m honored to accept an Action Award from Athlete Ally,” said Jemele Hill. “‘Sticking to sports’ isn’t an option, because we don’t get the luxury of avoiding discrimination and injustice. I’m proud to work alongside Athlete Ally in encouraging the sport community to mobilize and speak out on issues that matter to them. This is not about politics, but rather right and wrong.”
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About Athlete Ally
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 LGBTQ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ equality in and through sport.
The Fifth Annual Athlete Ally Action awards are made possible due to generous support from the National Basketball Association (NBA), Bloomberg LLP, HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, Citibank, Gatorade, Major League Soccer, KPMG, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MillerCoors, Smirnoff, and Boxers NYC in addition to individual supporters and other corporate support.
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