LGBTQ+ Pride Month

The MLB And NFL Made Their Debut At New York City's Pride Parade This Weekend

It was the first time either league had a float.

Two major sports leagues made their debut at New York City's Pride Parade over the weekend. The MLB and the NFL both had floats in the event for the first time, joining the NHL, NBA, and WNBA in celebrating LGBTQ athletes and fans

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Outsports reported before the parade that former NFL player Ryan O'Callaghan would appear on the league's float. O'Callaghan came out as gay last year. Another former player, Wade Davis, was also part of the festivities. According to the Huffington Post, he's the NFL's first inclusion consultant, and works with the league on issues of homophobia in sports. San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers also appeared. Last year, Sowers became the first openly gay NFL coach. 

About 200 employees were reportedly included in the MLB's march, including umpire Dale Scott and former player Billy Bean, the league's vice president of Social Responsibility and Inclusion — both of whom are openly gay.

"The news that the MLB and NFL will join this year's NYC Pride March marks an important moment in the fight for LGBTQ inclusion in sports," Hudson Taylor of LGBTQ sports advocacy group Athlete Ally told NBC News. "These displays of allyship are an important symbol of support for the LGBTQ community and send a strong statement that the leagues are willing to use their platforms in the fight for equality."

According to Outsports, this was the "largest collection of professional sports leagues ever" at a Pride Parade or March. Sports were also represented through one of the parade's grand marshals, tennis star Billie Jean King.

NBC News points out how the NFL and MLB have made efforts in recent years to be more welcoming of the LGBTQ community. Last year, the NFL launched NFL Pride, a resource group for LGBTQ employees. Outsports reports that this year, 24 MLB teams will be hosting events for LGBTQ fans.

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