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Pro team asks to host gay pride game in primetime in 2016

The AFL's St. Kilda F.C. Saints want to make a bit statement about inclusion by hosting an LGBT pride night in primetime next season

James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images

We've seen "Gay Nights" and "Pride Games" at professional sports matches in the United States for over a decade. Most of them have been organized by mostly organized and supported by the community, while a few - like the Phillies and Dodgers - have been fully embraced and promoted by the teams.

Yet I'm not sure I've seen this before. The AFL squad St. Kilda F.C. Saints will petition the league to host a gay pride game in prime time next season. From The Age:

The submission will be made this month as part of St Kilda's home and away fixture request and has the backing of the Victorian government's new Gender and Sexuality Commissioner.

Team CEO Matt Finnis takes this seriously and wants to use the visibility to advance equality and acceptance for LGBT people:

Our motive is to ensure that our supporters - all of them - can feel a great sense of belonging through our club. Many of our supporters by virtue of their sexuality will face times in their lives where they feel marginalized and a footy club should be a place that frees them from that and a place they can feel a sense of pride and acceptance.

It's a bold move by the team. Hopefully it sticks!