Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sexual Orientation Protections Added To New NFL Contract

I know next to nothing about sports.

And honestly, I don't much care. It's not my thing. That's not a judgment. If you like it, get on with your bad self. Different strokes and all that. It's just not something I enjoy. But, there is some good news coming out of the sports world (is that the right phrase?) today.

The NFL's new collective bargaining agreement (I think maybe there was a strike leading up to this) includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination clause. That's a pretty big deal. The 2006 agreement included no such protections.

From the contract:

No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA [NFL Players Association] because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.

So, that's cool. And while "there are no openly gay professional sports players in football, basketball, baseball or hockey," this could help change that.

"I think that the conditions are being created — certainly now by this anti-discrimination language, but also what the players are saying — for a gay player to come out. More and more Americans are coming out in their lives and their industries, so it's going to hit sports. It has to," said Brian Ellner, a senior strategist with the Human Rights Campaign.

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