NFL, GLAAD partner for LGBTQ event at Las Vegas Super Bowl week

J.R. Stone Image
Thursday, February 8, 2024
NFL, GLAAD partner for LGBTQ event at Super Bowl week
Super Bowl week event "A night of Pride" was held at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas Wednesday night, focused on LGBTQ inclusion in professional sports.

LAS VEGAS (KGO) -- "A Night of Pride" with GLAAD and the NFL was held at Caesar's Palace Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The event was focused on LGBTQ inclusion in professional sports as well as the "NFL's commitment to LGBTQ players and fans." It's the third year in a row that the Super Bowl event has been held.

Instead of a red carpet event, there was a purple carpet outside the venue. Symbolic of the support for LGBTQ youth with a stand against bullying in the LGBTQ community.

Super Bowl 2024 updates: ABC7 coverage of 49ers vs. Chiefs

Lance Bass of N'Sync hosted "A night of Pride." He came out as gay in 2006. We spoke with former NFL players, several NFL male cheerleaders, and organizers about coming out and the challenges of acceptance in doing so.

"Never in a million years would I have thought that this would be a thing but the fact that queer folks have a space to be seen and heard - it's so powerful it's such a moment," said Ryan Mitchell who is a LGBTQ ambassador.

"It's hard, I mean I think everyone has different factors whether it be where you were born, the views of your family, of your colleagues, or your community and sports historically football has not been the most welcoming place, I think there are 16 players in NFL history that have come out. I think events like these moments, like these with the NFL and GLAAD make it easier for the next generation," said former NFL player R.K. Russell.

MORE: 'Football is gay' - new NFL ad shows support to LGBTQ+ community

"It was very hard to be the first guy in a same-sex marriage as an ex NFL player especially being a Dallas Cowboy. You think it's going to be harder, then you learn it's really not, people are more accepting than you think," said former NFL player Jeff Rohrer.

"Life is better when you're being yourself and people love you more when you're being yourself," said former NFL player Carl Nassib.

Those that we spoke with said the fact that the NFL is on board and involved in an event like this is a huge deal but also said there are still major challenges ahead.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live