Nike has unveiled a new video promotion (above) extolling the inherent virtue of “equality” in sports. As images of athletes from various walks of life scroll across the screen, a voiceover — including a blurb by LeBron James himself — paints the true picture of sports as the ultimate meritocracy.
Is this the land history promised?
This field of play.
Where the dream of fairness and mutual respect lives on.
Where you are defined by actions, not your looks and beliefs.
For too long these ideals have taken refuge inside these lines.
Equality should have no boundaries.
The bond between players should exist between people.
Opportunity should be indiscriminate.
Worth should outshine color.
The ball should bounce the same for everyone.
If we can be equals here, we can be equals everywhere.
One of the featured athletes is none other than Megan Rapinoe, the gay professional soccer player and US Women’s National Team hero who came out publicly several years ago. Other athletes include Serena Williams, Victor Cruz and Gabby Douglas.
A beautiful aspect that we continue to unearth in 2017 is how very equal the sports world is for LGBT athletes. While there continue to be issues around understanding, religion and language, LGBT athletes are being embraced across the country — and in many places around the world — across levels of sport.
Nike is selling Equality T-shirts and highlighting other equality-focused endeavors. We have been effusive in the past about Nike’s BeTrue line, which celebrates the LGBT community in sports.
You can see the behind-the-scenes video below, in which each athlete elaborates on the concept of equality in and out of sports, and why it’s important to them.
"Being a gay woman in this country in sport, wherever I am in the conversation, it's there,” Rapinoe said. “Just my responsibility making sure that I speak up about it and speak up for other people and hopefully grow that movement in that way."