Named to Goalden Times' Wordball 2016 list of the best football writing of the year (Contemporary category).
When you’re in the position that so many LGBT people so frequently find themselves in, it’s easy to feel very isolated. It’s never just about the words or the threats of violence; it’s the fear that no one would have your back if things went south. And the fear that no one would feel too bad if something awful happened to you.
You can criticize LGBT events and outreach from leagues and teams all you want. You can say that Don’t Cross The Line is ineffective. You can say team Pride Nights are little more than sponsor activation opportunities. You can say that the rainbow flags are just #branding. And, to some extent, you’d be right.
But unless you’ve had to do some very quick calculus to figure out if it was worth using the public restroom, or going to a party at the house of someone you didn’t know, or holding someone’s hand while walking down the street, you might not understand how much the gesture matters.