Los Angeles Rams make history as 1st NFL team to sponsor LGBTQ pride event

The Los Angeles Rams have made NFL history by being the first team to sponsor an LGBTQ pride event. Photo: Los Angeles Rams.

VENICE BEACH — The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Charges have made NFL history by being the first and second teams to sponsor an LGBTQ pride event.

The Rams is a sponsor of Venice Pride by adopting all 14 blue lights in the “C” letter of the “Venice” sign near the Boardwalk that will illuminate the rainbow LGBTQ pride colors during June.

“We are thrilled the Los Angeles Rams has chosen our celebration to make this welcome and historic overture of inclusion to the LGBT community,” said Grant Turck, co-founder and executive director of Venice Pride, said in a statement. “It’s great for Venice, for the Rams’ organization and for the LGBT community.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of even bolder outreach efforts to our diverse community,” Turck said.

RELATED: Venice Pride celebrates 2nd year

“We are proud to work with Venice Pride and to stand in alignment with the LGBT community that is such an important part of the fabric of Los Angeles,” Molly Higgins, the Rams’ vice president of community affairs, said in the statement. “Inclusion has always been a valued part of our organization, and we see this as a unique way to publicly celebrate the diversity that makes this community so special.”

Shortly after the Rams’ announcement, the Chargers rushed onto the field and adopted all 19 yellow lights in the letter “N.”

In 2014, the Rams set another NFL record by drafting Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the league’s history.

In celebration of their involvement, the Rams have debuted an LGBTQ pride logo on Venice Pride’s website—another first for a NFL team.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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