Carl Nassib, who retired this year, will be a part of the NFL LGBTQ inclusion event. | Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is hosting what is becoming an annual event — a night of inclusion for the LGBTQ community during Super Bowl week, this year in Las Vegas. It’s a nice gesture for the league and I was at the first one in 2018 in Minneapolis.

It has been utterly uncontroversial but only now are some homophobes discovering it’s happening and to them it’s another sign of the “woke mind virus” taking hold. The reactions have been predictable since the “news” was posted on the X (formerly Twitter) MLFootball.

Among the outrage:

  • “We don’t want this”
  • “Time to boycott the Super Bowl”
  • “Just tell us you don’t like your fans”
  • “Cant wait for the pride flag alternate jerseys to go up for sale”
  • “I don’t even wanna watch football anymore bro…”
  • “And with that, I’m not watching the Super Bowl anymore. I’m cool with the support but stop trying to shove it in our faces. It’s disgusting”

I am certain that any Super Bowl boycott will be so ineffective it won’t even include those calling for it. As for the complaint about “Pride flag alternate jerseys” — there’s a whole NFL shop for something like that.

An inclusion event has been held during Super Bowl week every in 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 and this season. It’s one of dozen of community-themed events held every year. For the third year, the NFL will partner with GLAAD on a panel that discusses LGBTQ inclusion. Among the panelists will be former Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders lineman Carl Nassib, who came out as gay in 2021 as an active player.

Complaints about the NFL including the LGBTQ community are tired and worn aspects of culture wars that I hope are receding, as people realize that being inclusive does no harm to anyone else.

Here is the official NFL release on this year’s event:

The National Football League (NFL) will host the third annual A Night of Pride with GLAAD presented by Smirnoff during Super Bowl week in Las Vegas, NV on Wednesday, February 7. The event will feature a special live performance presented by Smartfood with singer-songwriter VINCINT.

A Night of Pride with GLAAD is an evening of music, cocktails and interview-style conversations with GLAAD, a non-profit organization focused on LGBTQ advocacy and cultural change. The NFL family and partners will gather to spotlight advances in the future of LGBTQ inclusion in professional sports as well the NFL’s commitment to LGBTQ former and current players.

To kick off the celebrations, A Night of Pride with GLAAD Red Carpet will begin at 7:30 p.m. PT, with coverage across CBS Sports, GLAAD, and NFL social channels. Red carpet attendees will be met by NFL correspondent Ryan Mitchell who will anchor coverage and interview celebrities as they kick off Super Bowl week.

Sponsored by Smirnoff, A Night of Pride with GLAAD also includes a panel discussion on how inclusion in sports advances acceptance for LGBTQ people, featuring NFL Legend Carl Nassib. Additional partners for the evening include Starter and Google.

“GLAAD’s partnership with the NFL is committed to creating spaces where all fans can celebrate and to growing important visibility for LGBTQ fans at the Super Bowl and all season long,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “The third annual A Night of Pride at Super Bowl LVIII will spotlight LGBTQ leaders in sports as we work to create safe and inclusive sports environments for our community.”

“Our Third Annual A Night of Pride with GLAAD is yet another strong step to accelerating acceptance and demonstrating the NFL’s unwavering support of the LGBTQ community,” said NFL’s Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Jonathan Beane. “We look forward to continuing and strengthening our efforts to ensure football is for everyone.”

Earlier in the day, the NFL will also host its second annual Pride Flag Football Clinic at Super Bowl Experience, working with a local center that serves LGBTQ youth. Attendees and their families will be celebrated and welcomed by NFL players and members of the National Gay Flag Football League.

For more information on the NFL’s commitment to the LGBTQ community and programming, visit