The NFL is set to celebrate the LGBTQ community’s “National Coming Out Day” during its Sunday Night Football broadcast this weekend.
The campaign, labeled “It Takes All Of Us,” will feature a 30-second video starring openly gay or bisexual NFL players including Ryan O’Callaghan, Jeff Rohrer, R.K. Russell, and Wade Davis. The ad encourages gays to come out and be proud of their sexual proclivities, according to CNN.
The video starts with the aforementioned players saying, “To all current players who are thinking of coming out, when you are ready, so are we.”
The ad then segues to other players offering their support and saying, “It takes all of us, and you deserve to be all you.” The supportive players include Rob Gronkowski, DeAndre Hopkins, and Calais Campbell.
“There has never been a single active player that has come out. While I’m sure I’ve played with LGBTQ+ players — highly skilled, athletic, and effective at their jobs — they did not come out. But they were my teammates and part of the larger NFL family,” NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent said of the campaign.
Vincent added that the league’s goal is to support all 1,696 players.
“Anyone in the player community who may be considering coming out, know this — I am committed to serving as a conduit to help you through that journey — either myself, in collaboration with my teammates at the league office, or through the many organizations with whom we partner on LGBTQ+ issues. We have no way of knowing if an active NFL player would choose to come out or what they might experience. What I do know is that I am committed to celebrate, support, and welcome them,” Vincent said.
The NFL will sponsor the “It Takes All Of Us” campaign for the rest of the season. In conjunction with the campaign, all NFL fields will feature end zone stenciling reading “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism.”
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