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Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, former HRC Deputy Press Secretary

In a blog post for Fox Sports this week, former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita addressed the growing acceptance of the LGBT community in the professional sporting world.

Fujita praises heroes like Michael Sam and Jason Collins for taking those ground breaking steps out of the closet, that have allowed the world to see just how accepting NFL and NBA players and leadership are. Fujita writes:

“What Michael and Jason have done also brings us one step closer to finally dispelling the notion that our locker rooms are bastions of homophobia. They’re not. In spite of what many outsiders may think, players in the NFL and NBA are a lot more accepting than they get credit for….I’ve always felts that if and when a player decided to come out, he would be accepted with open arms – no matter the locker room – without hesitation. And I’m more certain now than ever.”

Fujita goes on to talk about the impact success stories like Michael Sam’s and Jason Collins’s have made for young people at all levels of athletic play, and thanks sporting advocacy organizations for helping change the face of sports.

“They have been absolute champions in promoting a sports culture that is free of homophobia and discrimination. They have helped set the template for inclusivity in our locker rooms and on our playing fields. And they have been invaluable resources for so many who were either struggling or who just needed to know they had support.”

Thanks to Scott Fujita for reminding us of the important difference between tolerance and acceptance. “We ‘tolerate’ mosquitoes. But we should accept people.” His voice along with the examples of Collins and Sam continue to inspire, change and save lives every day.

You can read his full post here.

A longtime ally, Fujita is no stranger to advocating for LGBT equality and inclusion. He formerly lent his voice in support of nationwide marriage equality as part of HRC's Americans for Marriage Equality campaign. Watch his video below:

Filed under: Coming Out, Sports, Allies

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