HRC Blog

Chicago Bears, Urlacher Deny Link to NOM, Ruth Institute

Yesterday the Chicago Bears and former linebacker Brian Urlacher denied any involvement with the discriminatory National Organization for Marriage or its youth-focused subsidiary, the Ruth Institute.

The Ruth Institute recently included Chicago Bears memorabilia in an advertisement for its upcoming gala.

The ad reads, "For now, you should know that we have two fabulous raffle items for the Chicago Bears Organizations (and a huge thank you to the Bears for supporting our message.)"

The Bears yesterday issued a statement denouncing the organization’s involvement: "The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to (President) Dr. Jennifer Roback More. Neither was a club donation nor do they represent the team’s view on any social issues."

Urlacher, whose autographed photo was amongst the paraphernalia being auctioned, told the Chicago Tribune that he frequently signs gear for charity without knowing where or for whom it is intended. He goes on to explain that if he would not have autographed the jersey if he had known it was intended for an organization actively working to deny loving and committed same-sex couples the right to marry.

The Bears’ push-back against NOM is the latest in a growing trend of professional American athletic organizations and athletes that publically support the LGBT community.


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