Outsports today premiered the video of Staci Slaughter, San Francisco Giants spokesperson, accepting the Corporate Leader Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on Saturday. They further went on to recognize the important work GLAAD is doing to the lead the conversation for LGBT equality in the sports world:
"After so many years of sports being pushed to the side by the LGBT community, it is powerful to see a leader like GLAAD make sports such a high-profile aspect of their awards show. In truth, GLAAD has been working behind the scenes in the sports world, unbeknownst to many, for years. Some of the developments we've seen -- particularly the response by leagues and sports organizations to homophobic language -- have been because of the work of GLAAD and, in particular, Aaron McQuade. So it's powerful -- and not surprising -- to see GLAAD take this step at their event."
Check out the video of Slaughter's remarks on behalf of World Series champions the San Francisco Giants:
The San Francisco Giants became the first professional sports team to host an HIV/AIDS benefit game in 1994 and since then have repeated the effort to generate more than $1.3 million for Bay Area HIV/AIDS education, care/service organizations and international research. The Giants were also the first major league sports team to record a video for the It Gets Better project and the team (and the MLB as a whole) took part in Spirit Day where they went purple as part of GLAAD's annual anti-bullying campaign to support LGBT youth. This month, the team hosted their 11th Annual LGBT Night Out.
Also at the show, former Pittsburgh Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy and WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner received Special Recognition Awards from GLAAD's National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz. McClatchy spoke about the evolution of the LGBT dialogue in the sports world and how Jason Collins historic coming out impacted that discussion. Griner went on to deliver a moving speech about coming out to her mother in the ninth grade and how important it was for her to live her truth. Check out their videos below:
22-year-old Griner publicly came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated last month following the WNBA draft where she was picked No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Mercury. During her collegiate career at Baylor University Griner was chosen as the 2012 AP Div. I player of the year and the 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player—the same year that the Lady Bears won the National Championship.
McClatchy became the youngest owner in the MLB when he led a group of investors that purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996; he was only 33 years old. He was the CEO and public face of the team for 11 years before stepping away in 2007 and came out publicly in an interview with the New York Times last year.
Last year, GLAAD teamed up with Athlete Ally to provide a training on LGBT issues to the NBA rookie camps. GLAAD has also reached out to ESPN regarding anti-gay comments made on air following Jason Collins historic coming out last month. The NBA has also participated in GLAAD's Spirit Day for two years, turning the league's twitter photo purple as a symbol of support for LGBT young people and to take a stand against bullying.