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Esera Tuaolo hosts the the Inclusion Party Super Bowl week in Minneapolis. The purpose of the party is to foster diversity and inclusion—especially LGBT inclusion—in the National Football League (“NFL”) and, through the popularity of the NFL, to foster diversity and inclusion in the society as a whole.
1. LGBT Diversity in the NFL
LGBT diversity in the NFL has remained extraordinarily low. The NFL was founded in 1920. During almost a century of its existence, there have been only seven known gay NFL players. David Kopay was the first to come out as gay, followed by Jerry Smith, Ray McDonald, Esera Tuaolo, Kwame Harris, and Ryan O’Callaghan. Four additional players came out as gay, but were released before playing a single regular season game. They are Wade Davis, Dorien Bryant, Brad Thorson, and Michael Sam.
Undoubtedly, these are not the only gay players. They are merely the players who eventually became open with their sexuality. Many more existed, and many currently play while feeling forced to hide who they truly are.
The source of the above state of LGBT diversity in the NFL is no surprise: discrimination, namely, false assumptions about the NFL environment and the LGBT communities. People implicitly assume, without much thinking, that the NFL requires the utmost stereotypical masculinity, brute force, and callous strength. In contrast, people implicitly assume, without much thinking, that a gay, bisexual, or lesbian person is weak, fragile, and easily subdued. Years of exposure to such stereotypes, which continue to be publicly perpetuated today, support the implicit assumption that the NFL and the LGBT communities are like water and oil.
2. Esera Tuaolo’s Super Bowl Inclusion Party
The Super Bowl Inclusion Party is a yearly event administered in the city hosting the Super Bowl. It is the only event of its kind, and its inaugural party will be held on January 31, 2018, surrounding the 2018 Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl Inclusion Party has the three objectives. First, it seeks to eliminate the above explicit and implicit bias by bringing the NFL and the LGBT communities closer together. Second, the party will support the idea that inclusion comes from changing the whole NFL environment, not just relying on gay or bisexual players to do all the work. The party will bring together people of all identities—coaches, players, team owners, fans, and the like of all sexualities and genders—to publicly show support for inclusion. As the party grows in size and popularity, the change in and around the NFL will, too. Finally, the party seeks to cultivate a hate-free zone on which gay athletes can rely, whether closeted or open with their sexuality. Players will have a whole organization and many readily identifiable allies for support.
A significant portion of the money obtained through the party is donated to diversity centers and anti-bullying organizations within the host city. The Super Bowl Inclusion Party, then, is a traveling campaign of inclusion, moving yearly to each city hosting the Super Bowl and raising for inclusion-based organizations within that city much-needed financial, educational, and networking support.
These are the details for the 2018 Super Bowl Inclusion Party:
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Venue: The PourHouse 10 S 5th St #11, Minneapolis, MN 55402.
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. and close at 2 a.m.
Tickets: 500 VIP tickets available, which include free food and drinks from 7 p.m. until midnight. 500 General Admission tickets available, exclusive of food and drinks. Cash bar is available. Meet and Greet tickets available to hang out with entertainers.
Entertainment: Esera Tuaolo is hosting. Meet and greet with Esera and entertainers from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. DJs will play music throughout the night. The main show is 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The current target entertainers include singers from season 13 of The Voice. Entertainment specifics are subject to change.
Sponsorships: To sponsor the 2018 Super Bowl Inclusion Party, please contact email@example.com.