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NFL says: ‘Football is gay. Football is queer. Football is accepting.’

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The NFL has released a new video stating unequivocal support for LGBTQ fans, players and coaches.

AFC Championship - Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski, left, has talked publicly about his acceptance of gay teammates. The New England Patriots have been one of the NFL’s most pro-LGBTQ teams over the last few years.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The NFL has released a video on TV and online that unequivocally embraces the LGBTQ community, stating that football is gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, beautiful and other descriptors. You can watch the video here.

The NFL told Outsports that its intention with the “Football is for everyone” video is to send a strong message of acceptance from the league to fans and players. The video is a direct response to the coming out of Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, Outsports was told by league spokesperson Samantha Roth.

“I am proud of the clear message this spot sends to the NFL’s LGBTQ+ fans: This game is unquestionably for you,” NFL diversity director Sam Rapoport told Outsports. “I will be playing its first line over and over in my head all season.”

That first line: Football is gay.

From the NFL:

In the new film “Football is for Everyone” from the NFL in partnership with The Trevor Project and creative agency 72andSunny Los Angeles, the league redefines the game to be inclusive of all different types of fans, coaches and players. The film also features The Trevor Project to highlight life-saving resources for LGTBQ+ youth.

From NFL chief marketing officer Tim Ellis:

This spot is about celebrating Pride, and the importance of inclusion. It’s imperative that we use our voice and leverage the NFL platform to drive positive change, which includes supporting what our players care about and what they stand for.

“Imperative.” Think about that. The NFL’s chief marketing officer called it “imperative” to make sure LGBTQ athletes and fans are accepted in the league.

Please, stop telling me the NFL and America aren’t ready for a gay football player.

Stop.

For the league to release a video saying “football is gay” is revolutionary. For far too long people have held the belief that the NFL and the sport of football are anti-gay.

They have been wrong for years.

That the NFL would release this video knowing well that it will anger a segment of its fanbase is a huge societal statement. The NFL is the most powerful cultural institution in America.

This statement of support and inclusion will resonate deeply.

We at Outsports are appreciative of the NFL for stating the league’s support of the community unequivocally.