David Kopay played for the Lions in 1968, while Esera Tuaolo played for the Vikings from 1992-96.
It looks like the Lions are rolling out the red carpet for the event. From the event organizers, this is what the event will look like:
- Acknowledged as an official LGBT Pride Night.
- Block of seats in the upper level sideline.
- Host a party on the roof top of Ford Field.
- Host a pre-game tailgate with sponsored food and beverages.
- Integrate multiple LGBT community groups including the LGBT Center in SE Michigan (Affirmations).
While some may say "it's about time" NFL teams started doing LGBT events, it's not so simple. Major League Baseball teams have been doing them for 15 years because they have so many seats to fill in a season (each team hosts 81 home games). In most markets, baseball isn't nearly as popular as football.
Very few NFL teams have the ability or need to host an event like this with a block of seats. The vast majority of NFL games are sold out well in advance of the games, and each team has only eight regular-season home games. Teams like the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots, for example, simply have no seats to block off for group sales, let alone an entire section of the stadium. Teams that struggle to sell seats, like the Lions or the Jacksonville Jaguars, are often in smaller markets or don't have the national profile of the Packers and Patriots.
So don't expect to see an LGBT Pride Night with the Dallas Cowboys anytime soon.