Event lineup includes Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, triathlete Chris Mosier, and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe
The Minnesota Vikings is the first NFL team to host a summit and fundraiser exclusively on LGBTQ inclusion in sports.
The day-long summit will be held at TCO Performance Center on Thurs., June 21, with the focus on the critical importance of LGBTQ inclusion in sports. LGBTQ thought-leaders, athletes, coaches, team executives and members of the media will share ideas and best practices through a series of panel discussions, interviews, and testimonials from LGBTQ athletes.
The Vikings are inviting Minneapolis-St. Paul area college and high school coaches, staff and school administrators, and members of local LGBTQ organizations, representatives from NFL teams, and the league office to attend. Following the event, a reception will raise funds for local and national LGBTQ organizations.
“The Vikings are committed to lead efforts that raise awareness and create positive change for LGBTQ athletes across the country, and we’re proud to bring together some of the nation’s thought leaders to create an engaging and impactful discussion,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “This event will highlight the role each of those involved in sports, including coaches, players, and executives, can play to promote equality within sports teams. We’re also proud to raise funds for significant local and national LGBTQ causes.”
“I’m extremely excited to join the Vikings in making this significant event a reality,” said former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. “While it’s a step forward for the Vikings and the NFL, what’s critical is how we use our platforms to improve people’s lives. We’ve pulled together true leaders who can bring legitimate change through their respective organizations. Creating an event replicated by teams and leagues moving forward is our goal.”
Panel sessions will include the following topics:
Athletes as Allies — The role that allies of LGBTQ athletes can play in creating an inclusive environment.
The Role of Coaches — How coaches can create a positive, inclusive, and winning team environment.
LGBTQ Trailblazers — High-profile LGBTQ athletes share inspiring stories, challenges, and observations on coming out, success in sports, and the work still to come.
The Power of Visibility: Institutions and Individuals — How can leaders transform institutions to be fully inclusive of LGBTQ athletes?
The current lineup of speakers/participants includes:
Nevin Caple, co-founder, LGBT SportSafe
Robert Gulliver, chief human resources officer, NFL
Chris Kluwe, a former professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings
Greg Louganis, an Olympic diver, and LGBTQ activist
Chris Mosier, the first-known out transgender athlete to join a U.S. national team
Samantha Rapoport, director of football development, NFL
Esera Tuaolo, a former professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings, current musical performer, and LGBTQ activist
Stephanie White, head women’s basketball coach, Vanderbilt University
Additional speakers announced closer to the summit.
“I’m honored to be a part of this first-of-its-kind event,” said Louganis. “The summit will help promote a dialogue that moves our great sports institutions toward a more inclusive future. I’m proud to support this effort and to send a clear message to LGBTQ athletes that leaders across sports are working to ensure they’re welcomed and valued.”
“I’m thrilled to join the Minnesota Vikings in June to promote inclusion and respect for LGBTQ athletes,” said Mosier. “The Vikings are engaging in a critical conversation, particularly for transgender athletes. So, I’m looking forward to contributing to the conversation in the Twin Cities.”
Details regarding media availability during the summit to come closer to the event.