NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, MLS and more pro athletes and teams go big for Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth

October 22, 2019

Spirit Day 2019 was in full motion, and people and organizations all over the world went purple to show their solidarity for LGBTQ+ youth against bullying.

Sports organizations like the NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, Major Soccer League, WWE, NFL, NHL and more joined GLAAD in the world’s largest, most visible LGBTQ anti-bullying campaign by taking to the internet and posting with #SpiritDay with words of affirmation for LGBTQ+ youth and anti-bullying messages.

As Official Partners of Spirit Day, the NBA and WNBA teams and employees went purple across the country in their league and team offices and online. Former NBA player Caron Butler and WNBA players Sue Bird, Layshia Clarendon, and Breanna Stewart posted their support on social media on Spirit Day.

LGBTQ fans and allies were also able to see support from MLB Network, NFL Network, and FOX Sports. NBC Sports, and more as Spirit Day was prominently featured in MLB and NFL game day coverage and broadcasts throughout the week.

Click here to take the pledge to stand against bullying

As part of their support of Spirit Day and GLAAD, the New York Yankees invited members of GLAAD staff and Campus Ambassador Program to watch Game 4 from the ‘Judge’s Chambers.’ The ‘Judge’s Chambers’ are a special section in right field, dedicated to Yankees star Aaron Judge. GLAAD staff and youth, alongside MLB Network’s Brian Kenny, watched the game and celebrated Spirit Day by wearing purple -- and the official Yankees judges robes, of course. That night on FOX Sports, during ALCS Game 4 New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros, commentator Ken Rosenthal showed off his support by wearing a purple bowtie for FOX’s “Ken Rosenthal’s Bowtie for a Cause.”

Other sports highlights include teams and athletes taking to social media to celebrate Spirit Day and show their support for LGBTQ+ youth. Participants included MLS's Seattle Sounders FC, NHL's Colorado Avalanche, all thirty Major League Baseball clubs like the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, and San Francisco Giants, and pro athletes like Team USA triathlete Chris Moiser, wrestlers Isaiah Swerve Scott and Mia Yim, former MLB player and out gay advocate Billy Bean and more. Check out what some of your favorite athletes and teams were saying about for Spirit Day below:




More Pro and College Athletes and Teams

NFL Network showcases Spirit Day during on-air broadcast. 


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About Spirit Day

Each year, millions go purple for GLAAD’s Spirit Day to support LGBTQ youth in a united stand against bullying. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan in response to numerous young LGBTQ lives lost to suicide, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, and advocates around the world, all joining together to stand against bullying and support LGBTQ youth.

Presenting partners Pantene and Target, official partners Kellogg’s and the NBA and WNBA, and community partners Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Kirkland & Ellis, and Wells Fargo will all participate in the anti-bullying campaign. As anti-LGBTQ policies, hate crimes, and harassment are on the rise, it is now especially important to let all marginalized youth know they are supported.

This year, Spirit Day is on October 17, 2019. Take the Spirit Day pledge to show LGBTQ youth you've got their backs at Follow @GLAAD on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up to date with #SpiritDay news.