Indiana University athletic department will be first to participate in a Pride event
The Big 10 conference is doing it again. First, it was Jim Tressel of Ohio State being the first head football coach to be interviewed by a GLBT publication. Now, it is the Indiana University athletic department becoming the first to participate in a pride festival, The Advocate reports.
Pat Kraft (right, in the picture above, photo by Rachel Jones Crouch), senior assistant athletic director for marketing and former linebacker for the Hoosiers, is one of three who will staff the athletic department’s booth during the Indy Pride festival in Indianapolis on June 12. He had this to say: “I see what they’re wearing and if they’re Indiana, I’m all fired up. All I care about is that there are 56,000 people at our football game. Gay or straight, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re Indiana Hoosier fans and they’re excited.”
Both parties hope that the relationship between the athletic department and the GLBT community of Hoosier fans goes beyond increased ticket sales and a welcoming atmosphere at sporting events. They have already starting talking about including an outreach to gay youth as a part of their annual tradition to invite high school students to attend a football game each fall.
I am definitely going to make the drive out to Indianapolis to say thank you to Kraft and his co-workers. With more schools in the Big 10 following the trend of acceptance, maybe it is time for the entire conference to make a statement?
For an example of pathetic, hypocritical stereotyping, read the comments to The Advocate article. Outsports drew attention to the comment section, and it truly is unbelievable to read some of the remarks. It is despicable to read, especially coming from others in the GLBT community. Regardless, I won’t let them tear down a moment that should be celebrated.