Last night, GLAAD and the NFL joined forces for a night to remember at the Sheraton Downtown in Phoenix, AZ. Sponsored by Smirnoff, ‘A Night of Pride with GLAAD’ was an evening of music, cocktails, exciting performances, and discussions that highlighted the need for LGBTQ visibility and the the NFL’s commitment to supporting LGBTQ athletes, fans, and employees.
Guests in attendance at this annual event included LGBTQ leaders and allies such as NFL Free Agent R. K. Russell, HBCU player Byron Perkins, Carolina TopCats’ Justine Lindsay, Lance Bass, Meredith Marks, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, G Flip, Calix Quan, Kay Adams, Tempest DuJour, Taylor Hale, Shaun T, Justin Sutherland, Paige Mobley, Luis Heredia, Daniel Hernandez, Liz Jenkins, Joey Jay, Ashley & Malori, Mynx DiMilo, LZ Granderson, David Artavia, and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, just to name a few.
Also in attendance were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and EVP & CMO of the NFL Tim Ellis, to show their and the NFL’s support for the LGBTQ community.
The evening featured an incredible live performance by pop sensation and GLAAD Media Award nominee Betty Who as well as two special panel discussions.
The first panel was titled “Coming Out as an LGBTQ Corporate Ally” and was powered by Smirnoff. It was moderated by MTV Correspondent Ryan Mitchell and featured Ed Pilkington, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Diageo; Tim Ellis, EVP & CMO of the NFL; Liz Jenkins, Chair of the GLAAD Board of Directors & COO of Hello Sunshine and Leslie Vesper, VP of Marketing, Smartfood Brands.
The second panel, “LGBTQ NFL Experience” powered by Yahoo! was moderated by Yahoo! Journalist David Artavia and featured LGBTQ athletes R.K. Russell, Justine Lindsay and Byron Perkins.
This event kicks off the season for the 34th GLAAD Media Awards which will take place on March 30th in Los Angeles and May 13th in New York City.