Post submitted by Annie Kehler, HRC Communications Intern
Out magazine released its annual list of the 50 most powerful LGBT people in America. The list ranges from LGBT movie stars to politicians, but included members of a never before featured profession: sports.
Both Brittany Griner of the WMBA and Michael Sam of NCAA College Football are the first professional athletes to make the list. Griner, no. 31, has made strides against norms for women while signing endorsements with companies like Nike. Sam, the first openly gay NCAA Division 1 football player, has set the stage for many following him, while being one of the top NFL draft picks.
The inclusion of these athletes illustrates the important shift in the point of view of the athletic community on LGBT issues. The list also included Apple CEO Tim Cook, who recently called on the House to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, who publicly came out in December, and Ellen Page, who came out at HRC's Time to Thrive conference in February. Many of HRC longtime supporters, including Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Designer Marc Jacobs, Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Financial Advisor Suze Orman made the list.
HRC is proud of the bravery of Griner, Sam, and other athletes like them, for choosing to live openly and change the narrative in athletics.