Inclusion will be the word of day in Atlanta on the Tuesday before Super Bowl LIII, as Esera Tuaolo and Hate Is Wrong team up with various partners to present a panel discussion series on LGBTQ inclusion in sports, in addition to Esera Tuaolo’s Second Annual Inclusion Party.
Tuaolo played nine years in the NFL, including a Super Bowl appearance with the Atlanta Falcons. He is one of the few former male professional athletes to come out publicly, dedicating his life to making sports — and the world — a better place for everyone.
“One of the dirty birds is going back into town,” Tuaolo told Outsports. It’s amazing to go back to the city where I had so much fun playing and such great memories of playing in the Super Bowl with the Falcons, and to do an inclusion party and a Hate Is Wrong inclusion panel to move us forward into this whole inclusion and diversity world we’re living in.”
These pre-Super Bowl events in Atlanta are part of the continuing chapter of Tuaolo’s efforts to build gay inclusion in pro sports.
Inclusion Discussions at Super Bowl LIII
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 1pm to 3:30pm, is a reception and pair of Hate Is Wrong panel discussions at The Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. in Atlanta. Tickets are free, and you can RSVP for free tickets here.
The first panel will focus on the efforts of sports-affiliated corporations, non-profits and athletes to build LGBTQ-inclusive spaces in professional sports. Included on that panel are President of Adidas North America Zion Armstrong, Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis and former NFL player Esera Tuaolo.
The second panel will focus specifically on steps the NFL, its teams and NFL media can do to help make the league a more welcoming place for LGBTQ people. The panel features Atlanta Falcons Assistant General Manager Scott Pioli, Minnesota Vikings Vice-President Karin Nelson, San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers and NBC Sports writer and commentator Peter King.
The two panels will be moderated by Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler (that’s me).
Inclusion Party in Atlanta for the Super Bowl
That night is Esera Tuaolo’s Second Annual Inclusion Party, designed to bring together people from across the sports world and the local community with music. Tuaolo established the party last year when the Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis. As he played for the Falcons during his nine-year NFL tenure, hosting a second annual inclusion party in Atlanta was a no-brainer for him.
The party will be held Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:30pm-2am, at the beautiful Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Rd NE, in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.
The musical lineup includes:
- Shawn Hook
- Nia Franklin (Miss America 2019)
- Esera Tuaolo (former NFL player and contestant on NBC’s The Voice)
- Raja (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
- Brooke Lynn Hytes (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
- DJ TieDye (LA DJ)
- DJ Ryan Kenney (LA DJ)
- DJ Lisa Monet (Beyonce’s DJ from Toronto, Canada)
General-admission tickets start at $35 if you buy them early. VIP tickets start at $150. You can buy tickets at the Hate Is Wrong Web site.
Sponsors and partners for the inclusion events include the Minnesota Vikings, Adidas, Tito’s vodka, Hate Is Wrong, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the NFL, Outsports, Project Q, and Atlanta’s LGBTQ flag football league. All proceeds from the events will go to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBTQ Institute, based in Atlanta.