MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo held a unique Super Bowl party Wednesday night.
His Inclusion Party, at Minneapolis’ Pourhouse, is the first of its kind for Super Bowl week.
He partnered with the NFL for a party where everyone is welcome.
With people coming to Minneapolis from all over the country, the goal of Tuaolo’s party was to take inclusion to another level.
“I’ve known Esera over the years, and came out to support them,” said guest Kerry Severson.
“We are excited, especially since Esera has been a cornerstone in our community for a very long time,” said guest Karen Keller.
After retiring from the NFL, Tuaolo came out as gay in 2002.
“Thirty-five-years old when I came out. It’s one of my things, it’s always been a dream of mine to do a party like this,” Tuaolo said. “An inclusion party at something of an amazing magnitude like the Super Bowl. Now the dream is coming true.”
With football and music, Tuaolo wants to celebrate diversity and the LGBT community during the NFL’s biggest week.
A significant portion of the money raised will go to diversity centers and anti-bullying organizations in Minneapolis.
“It’s super progressive and it’s changing the culture, and it’s making people realize that this is something to be celebrated,” said guest Misha Estrin. “It’s a beautiful way to connect communities and break barriers.”
Tuaolo says he aims to plant a seed of inclusion in people’s hearts.
“I want them, when they leave here, that they understand that his world is moving more towards an inclusive world,” Tuaolo said.
The NFL now plans to make this a yearly event in the city hosting the Super Bowl going forward.