Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) & Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth
Openly LGBT athletes Kye Allums, Jason Collins, Brittney Griner, and WWE Superstar Darren Young among 2013 Spirit Day Ambassadors
New York, NY, October 15, 2013 – Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) & Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will join millions of people in ‘going purple’ for Spirit Day on October 17 in a united stand against bullying and to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, GLAAD announced today.
Sports leagues and entertainment organizations will be sharing information about Spirit Day on social media, including official Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is the second consecutive year that each has participated.
For more information on Spirit Day and to go purple on October 17 or participate on social media, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday. Each year, GLAAD organizes hundreds of celebrities, entertainment organizations, brands, landmarks, sports leagues, faith groups, school districts, colleges and universities to speak out in support of LGBT youth on Spirit Day.
Transgender athlete Kye Allums, out basketball players Jason Collins and Brittney Griner, and out WWE Superstar Darren Young will serve as Spirit Day Ambassadors, it was also announced. Athlete Ally and the You Can Play Project will also participate as part of their work to end homophobia and transphobia in sports.
“By coming together to support LGBT youth, American sports leagues are sending a clear message to fans everywhere: homophobia has no place in the game,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “Whether on the field, in the locker room, or cheering from the stands it’s clear that LGBT people are essential to the sports community.”
“The You Can Play Project proudly recognizes Spirit Day as a time for everyone to stand in solidarity with LGBT youth to fight against bullying and other forms of discrimination and to celebrate their courage and strength,” said Wade Davis, Executive Director of the You Can Play Project and an openly gay, former NFL player.
GLAAD previously announced that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, MTV talent including Ke$ha, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi and Jenni ‘JWOWW’ Farley, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph from ‘Catfish: The TV Show’; the cast of TeenNick’s ‘Degrassi’; celebrity radio host Elvis Duran; 12 year-old transgender advocate Jazz; Archie Comics’ Kevin Keller; Extra Host Maria Menounos; country music artist Kacey Musgraves, and Spanish-language talk show host Cristina Saralegui will serve as Spirit Day ambassadors, who are participating and speaking out against bullying.
News anchors and hosts from Access Hollywood, CNBC, Extra, Jimmy Kimmel Live, MSNBC, Telemundo, The Talk, The View, Watch What Happens Live, the Wendy Williams Show, and more will be wearing purple on-air for Spirit Day.
Additional Spirit Day participants include the stars of TV Land’s ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. They will be joined by: Tatyana Ali, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Kristen Bell, Nate Berkus, Sarah Brightman, Nick Cannon, Laverne Cox, Aviva Drescher, Dr. Drew, Melissa Etheridge, Nicola Foti, Steve Grand, Shenae Grimes & Josh Beech, Dot Marie Jones, Mary Lambert, Demi Lovato, Loni Love, Holly Madison, Lori Michaels, Isaac Mizrahi, Stephanie Nogueras, Suze Orman, Eric Petersen, Mary Povich, Sara Rue, Doreen Taylor, Jordan Todosey, Davey Wavey, Nick Wechsler, Betty Who and Zendaya. More names to be announced.
Participating national landmarks include Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, the LAX pylon lights, the New York Stock Exchange, and Times Square, including billboards at American Eagle Outfitters, MTV, NASDAQ, and the Thomson Reuters building. Out country music star Steve Grand will play a free concert at Las Vegas’ iconic Fremont Street Experience.
VH1, TV Land and Logo will turn on-air logos purple in recognition of Spirit Day. For the third year in a row, MTV and mtvU will turn purple on-air and online to celebrate Spirit Day, as will MTV’s Times Square Screens. MTV’s ACT Blog, which will also “go purple,” will feature special coverage of the day, and the first 500 people who share a purple-themed photo with MTV’s “A Thin Line” campaign on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SpiritDay will receive a free “A Thin Line” bracelet. The “A Thin Line” campaign, which empowers young people to help stop the spread of digital abuse, has already inspired more than 1.5 million young people to take action.
Elvis Duran and the Morning Show are encouraging listeners in over 70 markets, as well as celebrity guests to go purple for Spirit Day. The Elvis Duran and the Morning Show will turn its official Facebook and Twitter profile photos purple. Additionally, the ElvisDuran.com store (http://store.elvisduran.com/) is featuring a purple ‘Spirit Day T-Shirt,’ with all proceeds benefitting GLAAD’s. The Elvis Duran and The Morning Show pledge video can be found here.
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment this week debuted the ‘Spirit Day Radio’ station on its iHeartRadio digital music platform (http://www.iheart.com/original/Spirit-Day), featuring recording artists that have participated or will participate in Spirit Day to stand up against bullying. Featured artists include Ke$ha, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Demi Lovato, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Frank Ocean, Adam Lambert, Melissa Etheridge, and more. Additionally, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will share its support for Spirit Day online through the iHeartRadio Facebook and Twitter channels.
American Apparel this week launched an exclusive Spirit Day Store online, offering Spirit Day supporters a 10% discount on select purple items, with an additional 10% of ‘purple proceeds’ benefitting GLAAD’s work to build support for equality.
Brands including The Coca-Cola Company, and Johnson & Johnson will turn logos purple on social media. Additional corporate participants include ABC Family, Atelier lb, American Airlines, American Apparel, American Eagle Outfitters, AT&T, BNP Paribas, Brown-Forman, B|W|R| Public Relations, Caesars, CBS, Chambord, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast / NBCUniversal, Cresa, Delta Air Lines, Depository Trust & Clearing Company, Disney, Facebook, Hyatt, Iden Consultoria, Infiniti Graphics, Johnson & Johnson, Kaplan Thaler, Ketel One, Leo Burnett, Los Angeles International Airport, MSLGroup, MTV, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, PwC, Razorfish, Rock On Rentals, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, SoCal Social Club, Starcom, Stokes Counseling Services, Telemundo, Thomson-Reuters Corporation, Tumblr, Toyota Financial Services, United Airlines, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Westfield Group, ZenithOptimedia, ZipCar will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 17.
Westfield Group, one of the world’s largest shopping center portfolios around the world, is hosting Spirit Day photo booths in select Los Angeles locations. Westfiled will turn more than 37 of their websites purple and unveil a Spirit Day photo installation at Westfield Culver City on Spirit Day.
Faith organizations such as Auburn Seminary, Believe Out Loud, DignityUSA, Equally Blessed, Fortunate Families, the Metropolitan Community Churches, More Light Presbyterians, The Naming Project, New Ways Ministry, Presbyterian Welcome, Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation, The Religious Institute, Inc., and SOJOURN: Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity are all going purple for Spirit Day, encouraging congregations and members to go purple. Several congregations are planning special commemorations or events for Spirit Day.
Local, national, and international organizations including 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign; Basic Rights Oregon; The Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation; Bienestar; Campus Pride; Cape Town Pride; Center for AIDS Prevention Studies | Mpowerment; Centerlink; Circle of Voices; City of Riverside Human Relations Commission; Coalición por los Derechos Humanos; The DC Center for the LGBT Community; Equality Maryland; Equality Ohio; Fair Wisconsin; Family Equality; Forum For Equality; Friendfactor; Gay Men of African Descent; Georgia Equality; Georgia Safe Schools Coalition; GLAD; GLAAD; Global Faith & Justice Project; Groundspark; GLSEN; Halifax Pride; The Handsome Father; The Hetrick-Martin Institute; The Human Rights Campaign; It Gets Better; Illumenate Bloomington; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center; LGBT Center of Central PA; LGBTQ Center of the Finger Lakes; Missouri GSA Network; The Montrose Center; National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation; Oasis Youth Center; One Iowa; PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center; Palm Beach County Human Rights Council; PFLAG National; Phoenix Pride; Point Foundation; PROMO Missouri; The Q Center; Q Center; QMUNITY Gab Youth/Trans Youth Drop-In; SAGE; Santa Fe Mountain Center (NM Gay Straight Alliance Network); San Jose Pride; Stonewall National Education Project; Straight But Not Narrow; Sunserve; Sylvia Rivera Law Project; Team Todd; Tennessee Equality Project; Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; The Trevor Project; True Colors Fund; We Are Family will all participate by wearing purple on October 17, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.
For a complete list of celebrity participants, media outlets, TV networks, organizations and corporations visit http://glaad.org/spiritday. Additional participants to be announced.
Each year school districts, high school gay-straight alliances, colleges and universities also participate. For a list please visit:http://www.glaad.org/spiritday/schools
Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.
According to GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, 63.5% of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 43.9% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 81.9% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 27.1% because of their gender expression.
Previous Spirit Day participants include The White House, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Shaquille O’Neal, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, Extra, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more. For more information, visit http://glaad.org/spiritday
About GLAAD: GLAAD amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.