ESPN, one of the world's leading sports brands, today launched an employee-based program for allies of the LGBT community to stand up in vocal support of their fellow employees. ESPN Equal, their LGBT employee group, created a video that includes such TV personalities as Trey Wingo and Sage Steele. From ESPN:
ESPN EQUAL, ESPN’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employee resource group (ERG), today launched an Ally program patterned after several similar programs at other major companies.
What’s the ESPN Ally program?At its core: it’s straight employees joining ESPN EQUAL to help foster a workplace at ESPN where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees are accepted, included and supported.
This is no big surprise. ESPN has been way out front on LGBT equality for years. They've done it on-air, they've done it behind the scenes, and they have put their money where their mouth is. Though I do hear rumblings of a not-so-LGBT-friendly locker-room-style atmosphere in the production studios at ESPN, I've also heard the complete opposite. And I do believe the company has a sterling record on LGBT issues at virtually every level. So kudos to them for another wonderful step in building inclusion in sports! ESPN again is showing why they are champions.
I've emailed with and spoken to Wingo on a few occasions. In our correspondence over the years he's always been incredibly gay-positive and respectful, and it's awesome to see him take that position publicly here.
Check out the video with commentary from many ESPN employees, including ESPN Equal membership chair Heath Rosenthal.