NBA player Jason Collins came out of the closet, but an NFL player who supported him was stopped from making an appearance at a church. Post-operative trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox opened up about her background, but was called a "sociopath" and a "freak" by a UFC fighter. NFL punter Chris Kluwe became an outspoken advocate for marriage equality, but his former teammate Adrian Peterson spoke out against it. It's been an amazing year of growth and acceptance in the LGBT sports community, but there is still much work to be done to eliminate anti-gay bias.
With that in mind, athletes, coaches, advocates and members of the media -- including me -- will gather in Portland, Ore., for the 2013 Nike LGBT Sports Summit. The goal is to eliminate anti-gay bias in sports by 2016. It's a lofty goal, but considering the widespread move towards equality that has happened recently, it can be done.
Cyd Zeigler, the founder of Outsports, said these changes haven't happened by accident.
“It’s been incredible to watch the sea change in sports on LGBT issues in the last year,” Zeigler said to the Huffington Post. “The advances we’ve seen haven’t been accidents but the result of the very deliberate efforts by coalition members to make sports more welcoming to all fans, employees, and athletes.”
During the Summit, the coalition will attempt to build on these successes. We will gather in meetings to come up with projects and frameworks dedicated to eliminating bias in sports. Both straight and LGBT people will work together to create this sports world free of anti-gay bias.
Maggie Hendricks will be tweeting from the summit, so follow her on Twitter to learn more.