By Michael Colangelo | 25 May 2017
MSN — The stick to sports crowd usually targets players or media personalities. Now they may have to say it to an entire organization. This weekend the Patriots announced they will sponsor the 2017 Gay Bowl, which is a national championship flag football built with teams from the LGBT community. This is a statement of inclusion by the Patriots, but won’t get to the level of other social stands such as Colin Kaepernick.
The NFL hasn’t been at the forefront of social causes like the NBA. The NFL said it didn’t support the bathroom law in North Carolina, but didn’t move its owners’ meetings there. They only threatened to move it. The NBA, in contrast, cancelled an All-Star Game there. NFL players have dealt with backlash over their protests bringing attention to issues of race. NBA players have worn “I Can’t Breate” shirts and have addressed race equality movements multiple times.
Every league says they are interested in inclusion, but often won’t act. The Patriots sponsoring Gay Bowl ’17, is a clear message of where they stand on LGBT issues. Every team is aware of who and what they associate their brand with. The Patriots are making a statement whether they intend to or not, and that is a statement of inclusion.