New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, joined by his son Josh, made a surprise guest appearance at Gay Bowl XVII Sunday night, praising the role of LGBT sports in front of an excited crowd.
"Josh and I have been looking forward to coming here tonight because of all of you,” Kraft said. “We feel we need more of this in the world.”
The Patriots sponsored the Gay Bowl to the tune of $25,000, becoming the first professional sports team to be an official sponsor of the event. It was Josh Kraft who first brought the opportunity to his father, who then enthusiastically gave the idea his support.
In his brief speech Sunday night, Kraft commented on the atmosphere of good will in the room filled with hundreds of LGBT football players.
“We're going to do a lot to build bridges in America through sports,” Kraft said.
On the field, it was the New York Warriors Black beating the five-time defending Gay Bowl champion San Diego Bolts, 25-18, in the A-Division final. You can watch the final here.
It’s New York’s first title since 2008, when the team won three consecutive Gay Bowls. It was the fourth time these two cities met in the Championship Game: 2007, 2012, 2016 & 2017. With the win, New York tied Los Angeles for the second-most Gay Bowl titles — four.
The Mile High Club Blue out of Denver won the women’s division, beating the San Diego Breakers, 39-13, in the final. You can watch the women’s final here. Denver has won every women’s championship since the event was created in 2012.
LA Express Blue won the B Division, and Motor City Hitmen won the C Division.
Gay Bowl XVIII will be held in Denver next October.
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