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A conversation with NFL legend David Kopay to be featured at Outsports Pride

David Kopay is the father of the LGBTQ sports movement and the first American pro athlete to come out publicly.

The Advocate 45th Presented by Lexus - Red Carpet
David Kopay played for five NFL teams before coming out publicly as gay in 1975.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Advocate

A conversation with gay NFL legend David Kopay will be a centerpiece of Outsports Pride, the weekend coinciding with LA Pride celebrating and advancing LGBTQ inclusion in sports.

Kopay will share his insights into being gay and closeted in professional sports in the 1960s and ‘70s, as well as his observations about the LGBTQ sports movement over the last 45 years.

Jim Buzinski, Outsports editor and longtime friend of Kopay, will lead the conversation.

Kopay was the first American professional athlete to come out publicly as gay, doing so in 1975 through an interview with the Washington Star shortly after his retirement from the NFL. His 1977 autobiography, The David Kopay Story, became a best-seller and introduced readers to the intimate life of a closeted college football and NFL player.

In 2011, Kopay’s coming out was named by Outsports as the most important moment in LGBTQ sports history.

The conversation with Kopay will take place at UCLA’s historic Pauley Pavilion on June 7. It is part of the Outsports Pride weekend, which will celebrate all of the generations of LGBTQ people in sports, as well as their straight and cisgender counterparts, who have helped build acceptance in sports.

You can join the event by registering for Outsports Pride. The weekend includes the Outsports Summit at UCLA, in addition to various networking and social events.