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How I became a gay fan of the New England Patriots

The Patriots have won a lot and embrace the LGBT community.

Julian Edelman rainbow
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman plastered social media with rainbow colors in 2015 when marriage equality became a reality in the United States.

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It’s certainly easy being a fan of the New England Patriots these days. Some of the biggest reasons are why it’s easy for anyone from Presque Isle to Newport to be a fan. Others just make me smile as a gay man.

1. Just win, baby

If you’re looking for success, no one else in the NFL comes close. The team has won five of the last 16 Super Bowls; Only the San Francisco 49ers have ever won that many in a shorter timespan. They’ve been to seven Super Bowls in that time period; No team has ever done that. In the team’s history the Patriots have been to nine Super Bowls; No one else has done that, either.

2. The drama of it all

If you’re looking for drama and intrigue, they provide all you can handle. There’s the video-taping scandal that cost them a bunch of cash and a top draft pick. There’s Deflategate that cost Tom Brady a few games. There’s the undefeated season that almost was.

As a gay man, the Patriots make it easier to cheer for them than any other NFL team.

3. Friend of the court

For starters, they were the only NFL team to sign onto an amicus brief in 2015 supporting same-sex marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across the United States.

4. A man about town

Owner Robert Kraft in particular, who was behind the Patriots’ support of the amicus brief, has not been shy about embracing the LGBT community. He has appeared at various functions for LGBT organizations.

5. They love them some Steve Buckley

Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley has waxed poetic with me on numerous occasions about the support he has received from Kraft since coming out.

6. Gay Bowl

So it was no big surprise that the Patriots are sponsoring the Gay Bowl later this year, being held near Boston by the local LGBT flag football group. In fact, the Patriots supported Boston’s previous hosting of the tournament back in 2003 by sending former player and Hall of Famer Andre Tippett to perform the ceremonial coin toss.

7. Gronk smash homophobia

In addition, various key members of the Patriots have been very supportive of LGBT people in their public statements. Tight end Rob Gronkowski talked with me years ago about having no problem with a gay teammate, something he has since reiterated loudly. Wide receiver Julian Edelman turned his social media presence rainbow-colored when same-sex marriage became a Federal right.

8. A fair shot

These are all reasons that, as Michael Sam was being evaluated by NFL teams, many commentators I talked to pointed to the Patriots as one of the best fits for him, as well as a team that would given him a truly fair shot to make the roster.

Yes I know some people reading this will jump up and down screaming about the cozy relationship some prominent Patriots — name owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady — have with President Donald Trump. For me the team’s embrace of the LGBT community far outweighs their longtime friendships with Trump.

Plus, Hillary Clinton won 33 of the 34 electoral votes in New England, so I don’t think Brady keeping a ‘Make American Great Again’ hat in his locker did much to swing the election.

For more New England Patriots news, visit Pats Pulpit.

Why are you a fan of your favorite team? Tell us in a FanPost and you could win a $500 gift certificate!