Response to NY Attorney General’s Request of the NFL to Prevent Anti-Gay Employment Discrimination
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (March 14, 2013) - Below is a statement from Athlete Ally in response to today's letter from New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to issue a formal league policy on and conduct a full investigation related to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in the league.
Hudson Taylor, Executive Director Athlete Ally stated: "We have seen how important leadership from the Commissioner's Office is when it comes to gay inclusion in sports. It was former commissioner Paul Tagliabue who worked diligently behind the scenes to include an anti-discrimination clause based on sexual orientation in the collective bargaining agreement. Now, with the call for the league's policy to be more fully articulated, we are confident Roger Goodell, who maintains a public track record supporting gay rights issues like anti-bullying, will make this part of his legacy as commissioner."
The Attorney General's request comes days after Taylor, who also founded Athlete Ally, co-authored the NCAA's first guide for athletic administrators and front office leadership seeking to implement LGBT inclusive policies in sports. The groundbreaking and detailed resource, which addresses everything from having an openly gay player to creating a more inclusive environment, is attached as an addendum to this statement and is available online here.
According to Brian Ellner, who led the Campaign for New York Marriage and who serves on the Athlete Ally Board of Directors, "The Commissioner has a unique opportunity to make the NFL a zero-tolerance zone for workplace discrimination. He could send a clear message that any player who has the physical skills to make an NFL roster has a place in the locker room."
Athlete Ally conducts LGBT awareness workshops for NBA rookies and visits scores of college athletic departments around the country to provide training for thousands of student athletes.
Taylor added: "Our work at Athlete Ally, whether supporting professional leagues or collegiate athletic departments, is to answer the tough questions. Having co-authored the NCAA's policy guide and handbook on LGBT inclusion in sports, we have been able to compile and articulate nuanced policies and guidelines in a way that has never been done before and we now have a critical road map for the NFL, and other leagues, to help tackle this issue. We are confident that the NFL, with an ally in Roger Goodell, will be on the right side of the fight to end homophobia."
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