Each week we’ll be taking a look at the NFL teams involved in the Sunday Night Football game and track their record — team, coaches and players — on LGBT issues.
- The off-field cause of Broncos kicker Brandon McManus is bullying prevention. His Anti-Bully Squad aims to raise awareness about bullying and help prevent it in schools.
- "In the gay community there is a lot of sense of people being bullied because they're different,” McManus told me at Super Bowl L in February 2016. “One of the biggest things we're trying to prevent is people committing suicide. For these younger kids, they're too afraid to talk to their parents, they feel embarrassed. We're trying to give an avenue for anyone who wants to speak up to help save lives."
- McManus has befriended a boy with Down Syndrome who had been bullied. He even showed up at the boy’s house and played football with him in the street. Said the boy’s mom: “Brandon volunteered to come over and show his support for Ryder and play football in front of the neighbor to show him that if no one else cared, the Broncos did."
- Giants co-owner Steve Tisch has been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage. In 2011, when a battle was raging in New York state over legalizing same-sex marriage, Tisch made his support public in a video.
- Roy Simmons was an offensive lineman for the Giants and Washington from 1979-83 and the second former NFL player to come out publicly as gay. Simmons, who was HIV-positive, died at age 57 in 2014.
- Simmons came out on national TV on the “Phil Donahue Show” in 1992, joining Dave Kopay as an openly gay former player. In an interview with the New York Times in 2003, Simmons told why he stayed in the closet ''The N.F.L. has a reputation,'' he said, ''and it's not even a verbal thing — it's just known. You are gladiators; you are male; you kick butt.''
Outsports prediction for the game: Broncos 27, Giants 7. The Giants are a mess, with their best receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., out for the year and two other starting receivers out. This is not good going up against one of the league’s best defense, one that plays at an even higher level at home. In addition, the Giants have benched one of their best defensive backs, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, after he argued with his coach. The Giants will provide more excitement off the field in this game and Denver wins easily.