MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings made history Thursday as the first team to host an LGBTQ summit focused on inclusion in sports.
The team is the first in the NFL to hold a summit and fundraiser on the subject.
It’s an all-day event that started at 9 a.m. and included a number of familiar names and faces.
Chris Kluwe, a former Minnesota Viking, was on the first panel. He was known during his eight-year tenure with the team for being very outspoken about gay rights. Kluwe made headlines during his seasons when he spoke out in support of same-sex marriage before being let go from the team.
The summit features athletes, coaches, media and LGBTQ thought leaders to weigh in on how to practice inclusiveness in the NFL and sports at all levels.
One particular focus was how can student athletes be allies to the LGBTQ community.
The team noted LGBTQ athletes are twice as likely to quit sports.
In the audience, there were several lawmakers and college athletes coaches who asked questions of how to make sure everyone gets equal treatment to succeed. Sen. Scott Dibble thanked Kluwe for his work.
Twelve NFL teams were represented at the summit. The Vikings hope they will not be the last organization to host a discussion for change.
The Vikings will also have a booth at the Twin Cities Pride Festival for the first time this year. That runs Saturday and Sunday.