Nike supports LGBT inclusion in sports, helps to make it a reality

Nike is kicking equality in sports into high gear with its #BeTrue line and a generous donation to the LGBT Sports Coalition. San Diego's LGBT Weekly, PinkNews, Think Progress, and OutSports are among those who have covered the story.

The #BeTrue line of gear launched early in 2013 with all proceeds to be donated to the Coalition, which works to eradicate bias against LGBT people in sports. The donation culminated last month at $200,000, making it the largest gift to an LGBT cause in Nike's history.

The Coalition was formalized in June 2013 at Nike's annual LGBT Sports Summit in Portland, Oregon. The generous funds resulting from #BeTrue will benefit projects that create LGBT-inclusive climates for athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans in schools, colleges, recreational, and professional sports, according to the Coalition's official statement.

The LGBT Sports Coalition is comprised of LGBT organizations, including GO! Athletes, GLAAD, National Center for Lesbian Rights, AAHPERD, It Gets Better Project, Equality Coaching Alliance, You Can Play, Athlete Ally, Federation of Gay Games, NCAA Office of Inclusion, Outsports, GLSEN, Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Campus Pride, and Br{ache The Silence, and dedicated individuals Sherri Murrell, Kirk Walker, Christina Kahrl, Kye Allums, Pat Griffin, Sue Rankin, Jeff Sheng, and Erin Buzuvis. In the past, GLAAD's work as part of the Coalition has included joining efforts to promote safety and inclusion at the Olympics in Russia,

The increasing trend in professional sports these days is towards equality. With an increasing number of openly LGBT athletes such as Brittney Griner, Jason Collins, Derek Schell, and WWE Superstar Darren Young, as well as ally athletes like Brendon Ayanbadejo, LGBT players and their supporters are being represented more and more. It's not only the players make the games LGBT-inclusive. This year for GLAAD's Spirit Day, every major professional sports league supported LGBT youth by raising awareness about the dangers of bullying. The Portland Trailblazers recently became the first NBA team to endorse marriage equality, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been working on a campaign to respond to high HIV rates of infection in youth and young adults, and Dodgers Stadium even hosted an LGBT night out--and that's all just within the past month.

Thanks to Nike and its #BeTrue supporters, sports teams, leagues, players, and fans will continue to create an equal playing field from the little leagues all the way up to the majors.