Campaign launches to end big league sports homophobia

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A social media campaign launched this week with a major league goal – to end homophobia in men’s professional sports.

The campaign debuted on TheLastCloset.com with a prominent photograph of civil rights pioneer and baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

An announcement from the organizers said, “Our lofty tagline merits explanation. Ending any social ill is a long process and we are realistic in our goals. What we are aiming for is a sea change much like Jackie Robinson provided when he became the first African American to play in a major league. Sports has the power to facilitate that kind of transformation within its own boundaries, as well as in the culture at large. Jackie Robinson’s brave first step moved the Civil Rights Movement into the collective conscience of the American people—whether they were sports fans or not.”

The campaign’s purpose is to grow a grassroots movement to make all levels of sports inclusive, but with a focus on professional team sports.

The group’s first goal is to get on the record league leaders answering: “Will you invite your gay players to come out?” and “What safety net will you have in place for them once they do?”

To accomplish that, The Last Closet organizers, who also are filmmakers with Woman Vision, want people to send letters – formatted letters are on the website – asking Commissioners David Stern of the NBA, Roger Goodell of the NFL, Bud Selig of the MBA, Gary Bettman of the NHL and Don Garber of MLS – to respond.

On the Web: thelastcloset.org.