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Supreme Court gives sports owners the signal: It’s good to hire LGBT

By a vote of 6-3, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that LGBT employees have the same protections from discrimination as anyone else. How will this decision impact the major sports leagues?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

This is an historic day for LGBTQ Americans, and we at Outsports are celebrating!

As The New York Times and most every news site is reporting, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers from discrimination, just as it does everyone else.

A private group that reports on actions by the Supreme Court tweeted its decision this morning:

The message we hope this sends to the officials in every major sports league, the owners of every major pro team, the people who own and operate sports stadiums, vendors and everyone in a position to hire and fire the people who work in the business of sports: HIRE LGBTQ people. And to closeted athletes: COME OUT! Courage Is Contagious, as we say.

Fortunately, there’s already precedent: In February, our co-founder Cyd Zeigler noted that the NFL, its teams and its players had done at least 54 inclusive things, and listed them all. Look closely and you’ll see how many of those items involved the San Francisco 49ers.

Major League Baseball has evolved to be far more inclusive than when Billy Bean played ball. He’s now the V.P. and Special Assistant to the MLB Commissioner, and last month wrote a letter published in Outsports about how much more inclusive pro baseball is now. Even the New York Yankees celebrated Pride in 2019, and have established an annual $50K scholarship. And who would have thought the Red Sox of all teams would be league leaders of LGBTQ Pride?

The NHL is making strides with “Hockey Is For Everyone,” Pride Nights and Pride Tape.

The NBA remains the only pro sports league that can boast it had a player who came out while still actively playing — Jason Collins — but also an openly gay general manager.

And nobody shows acceptance for out LGBTQ players, coaches and staff like the WNBA and the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team.

Could they do better? Will the NCAA and Olympics show pro leagues the way forward? The referees at the highest court in the land have given the signals: It’s good... HIRE LGBT! And to closeted players and employees everywhere: you’re safe.. Come on out!

One last note: there has been commentary across social media how the justices and the news media have erased bisexuals in their ruling and in the coverage of the decision. I echo the opinion of Team USA athlete Chris Mosier: