Former NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan came out as gay last year | Photo: YouTube
A few weeks away from NYC Pride, National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have announced their participation in the march. This is the very first time both leagues will publicly join celebrations for equality.
Particularly, NFL will have its own float in the parade on 24 June. The contingent will feature former player Ryan O’Callaghan, who came out last year. Gay former defensive back Wade Davis, who played for the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins, will also join.
MLB will feature a contingent of about 200 employees. On board, gay former umpire Dale Scott, gay MLB executive and former player Billy Bean, and deputy commissioner Dan Halem.
In addition, MLB employees will volunteer at the Pride run and Youth Pride on 23 June.
All the professional sports leagues in the parade
NFL and MLB will be the latest major professional leagues to join NYC Pride. As in the previous years, the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will have employees and players marching.
The NHL participated in 2017, while the NBA and WNBA were the first sports leagues to take part in the march in 2016.
Furthermore, NBA commissioner Adam Silver turned up by surprise on last year’s float. He was seen waving a rainbow flag and dancing next to the league’s first openly gay player Jason Collins.
This year’s Pride Grand Marshals
This year’s Grand Marshals will be former professional tennis player Billie Jean King. King was portrayed on-screen by Emma Stone in the biopic Battle Of The Sexes. The film focused on the player’s professional and personal life alike, including a same-sex relationship with her assistant Marilyn Barnett.
Organization Lambda Legal, writer and first transgender contestant on The Glee Project Tyler Ford, and LGBTI activist Kenita Placide will complete the panel of marshals.
This year’s parade will have a brand-new route, starting in the Village before heading to 5th Avenue, culminating in the Flatiron district.