Though professional sports are moving in a positive direction, they need the transparency and metrics of an equality index to institutionalize a proactive rather than reactive culture of allyship. Using in-depth analyses and ratings of professional league and team policies and practices pertinent to LGBT athletes and fans, an Athletic Equality Index (AEI) would assess criteria like the inclusivity of employment benefits, and the adequacy of fan codes of conduct on and franchise responses to LGBT issues. Each resulting report would expose teams who fall short, celebrate teams who excel, and recommend areas of improvement, all together guiding teams toward major policy advances and organizational commitments to equality.
It's hard to say if it would benefit athletes, since so many of them are largely told which team they're going to play for. Still, front-office employees would have a better understanding of where they may want to work. Plus, it may benefit fans who would gravitate toward (or away from) gay-friendly teams.
Does sports need an index like this? Read Hudson's full column.