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N. Carolina women gymnasts wear pro-LGBT shirts at meet

The team and Nike teamed up for #BETRUE night

Photo by Jeffrey A. Camarati

Competing in a state with the anti-LGBT HB2 law on the books, the University of North Carolina women’s gymnastics team made a statement Friday by wearing T-shirts promoting LGBT equality in sports.

In partnership with Nike, Friday's meet was part of the #BETRUE campaign, celebrating contributions of the LGBTQ community. ...

The 4,071 in attendance set a new UNC gymnastics record. The two teams wore rainbow-themed #BETRUE t-shirts, and the Tar Heels tossed commemorative shirts to the crowd, many of whom were wearing rainbow 'NC' buttons. "It was awesome," [junior Morgan] Lane said of the night. "There's not a better word to encapsulate it all, but the amount of people that turned out was incredible. The #BETRUE campaign is really cool, just showing that we can love people, no matter if they're different from us or the same. We love everyone. So it was really cool that this many people came out, and there as also much energy. It was so much fun."

#BETRUE is a line of Nike apparel that celebrates and helps raise money for LGBT people in sports. Nike has partnered with Outsports in the past on the #BETRUE line.

It’s significant that the UNC women wore the shirts in light of the controversy over HB2, that is still the law despite the election of a new governor who opposed it. While the #BETRUE motto is not connected directly to HB2, the wearing of the shirts does send a message of support for LGBT people. Head Coach Derek Galvin said he hoped more teams would support the #BETRUE message.

"I hope that this is going to kind of open the door for some other people to say, 'Yeah, we want to do something like that.' If that happens, then it's icing on the cake. It's the right thing to do."