Last week, GLAAD – the leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization – and The National Football League (NFL) hosted the third annual “A Night of Pride” at Caesar’s Palace in Super Bowl LVIII’s host city of Las Vegas.

Lance Bass speaks onstage during "A Night of Pride" with GLAAD and the NFL
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The evening, hosted by former *NSYNC member Lance Bass, featured a performance by singer-songwriter VINCINT and a panel discussion moderated by LZ Granderson on how inclusion in sports advances acceptance for LGBTQ people. The panel featured veteran pass rusher Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay player to play in a regular-season game, along with trailblazer and NFL replay assistant Desiree Abrams and Kevin Maxen, the first out male NFL coach.

The event was presented by Smirnoff, with additional partners Starter and Google.

Guests included NFL Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jonathan Beane as well as LGBTQ leaders, voices, and allies including model Brooks Marks, Jeffrey Rohrer (Cowboys LB, Ret.), Paramount’s Chief Global Inclusion Officer Marva Smalls, former NFL player and artist R.K. Russell, NFL Correspondent Ryan Mitchell, filmmaker Sav Rogers, chairperson of CBS Sports Sean McManus, actor Zeke Smith, alongside GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis among others.

Also in attendance were GLAAD’s 2024 cohort of the Equity in Media and Entertainment Initiative (EMEI), a 3-year pathway program with varying media focuses designed to specifically pipeline and elevate Black LGBTQ creatives and Black queer storytelling across entertainment, in Hollywood and media at-large. This year’s 2024 cohort, focuses on Black LGBTQ independent music artists which include: 2 AM Ricky, Albanus Thierry, Asiahn, Damez, SHAH, Suni MF, Victor Jackson, and Neverending Nina.

Learn more about the program, created by GLAAD’s Communities of Color and Media Department and supported by Gilead Sciences here.

The event also kicks off the GLAAD Media Awards season honoring those in media who have shown exemplary achievement for fair, accurate and inclusive representation of the LGBTQ community, with the 35th GLAAD Media Awards set to take place on March 14 in Los Angeles and May 11 in New York City.

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