Minnesota Vikings Will be The First NFL Team to Host a LGBTQ Event
The Minnesota Vikings announced today that next month they will host a summit and fundraiser focused exclusively on LGBTQ inclusion in sports.
The day-long event, the first of its kind for any NFL team, will be held at TCO Performance Center on Thursday, June 21st and according to the Vikings, "will focus on the critical importance of LGBTQ inclusion in sports. LGBTQ thought-leaders, athletes, coaches, team executives and members of the media will come together to share ideas and best practices through a series of panel discussions, interviews, and testimonials from LGBTQ athletes."
After the event, the Vikings will have a reception to help raise funds for local and national LGBTQ organizations.
“The Vikings are committed to leading efforts that raise awareness and create positive change for LGBTQ athletes across the country, and we are proud to bring together some of the nation’s thought leaders to create an engaging and impactful discussion,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “This event will highlight the role each of those involved in sports, including coaches, players and executives, can play to promote equality within sports teams. We are also proud to raise funds for meaningful local and national LGBTQ causes.”
Panel sessions will include the following topics:
- Athletes as Allies
o Role that allies of LGBTQ athletes can play in creating an inclusive environment.
- The Role of Coaches
o How coaches can create a positive, inclusive, and winning team environment.
- LGBTQ Trailblazers
o High-profile LGBTQ athletes will share inspiring stories, challenges and observations on coming out, success in sports, and the work remaining to be done.
- The Power of Visibility: Institutions and Individuals
o How can leaders transform institutions to be fully inclusive of LGBTQ athletes?
The current lineup of speakers/participants includes:
- Nevin Caple, Co-founder, LGBT SportSafe
- Robert Gulliver, Chief Human Resources Officer, NFL
- Chris Kluwe, Former professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings
- Greg Louganis, Olympic diver and LGBTQ activist
- Chris Mosier, First known out transgender athlete to join a U.S. national team
- Samantha Rapoport, Director, Football Development, NFL
- Esera Tuaolo, Former professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings, current musical performer and LGBTQ activist
- Stephanie White, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Vanderbilt University