Editor’s note: Story originally appeared Sept. 16, 2014.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted an LGBT tailgate event on Sunday in conjunction with Barefoot Wines and the You Can Play project. It's thought to be the first LGBT tailgate event organized in part by an NFL team.
From the Bucs' Web site:
One tailgate in particular brought a strong turnout, overwhelming support and an NFL-first milestone to the Tampa Bay area. In the hours leading up to the game, the Buccaneers hosted the inaugural LGBT Community Tailgate Party, celebrating the day's game and the LGBT community in Tampa Bay.
Attendees at the LGBT Community Tailgate Party, sponsored by Barefoot Refresh, enjoyed live music, games, conversation and plenty of delicious barbecue fare before the game
"It is the first-ever LGBT tailgating event that the NFL has ever done," said Wade Davis, former NFL player and now Executive Director for the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. "I would say, honestly, this is a revolutionary day, because most people don't think that sports and LGBT mix and I think that the Bucs are reframing that and debunking a lot of myths around sports and LGBT individuals."
There have been plenty of LGBT nights with MLB, NBA and NHL games as those leagues struggle more to fill arenas and stadiums. These kinds of group-sales events haven't been a big part of NFL teams' ticket-sales strategies because they generally don't have many (if any) tickets for sale due to sell-outs.
It's probably no coincidence that the event took place in conjunction with Michael Sam's old team, the St. Louis Rams. Even without Sam there it looks like it was a festive event, and it's great to see an NFL team put it's stamp of approval on LGBT fans.