Marco Iannuzzi
Pro Football Team Shows Its Pride

By Annie Hollenbeck

Originally published on Advocate.com August 05 2014 1:36 PM ET

The Canadian Football League’s BC Lions showed their support of Vancouver’s Gay Pride Weekend on Saturday by changing the team’s logo background to a rainbow flag. The logo was posted to the team’s Facebook page, eliciting much fan reaction. While most of the comments were positive, a few ignorant accusations and statements found their way into the thread.

This is the second time this year that the Lions have made headlines for their support of LGBT people, according to Outsports. In February, Lions receiver Marco Iannuzzi was featured in a video as part of the You Can Play Project, which seeks to combat inequality and bullying in all levels of sports. Monday, Iannuzzi told reporters, “To me, it’s equal rights for everyone. I know it rubs a lot of people the wrong way … but I was very fortunate to have some worldly experiences and meet people from all over the world, and I could tell you one thing is that we don’t need another thing to bring us apart. We need more things to bring us together.”

Iannuzzi also said he knows of active gay players in the CFL and thinks it’s “not right” that they don’t feel safe and comfortable to come out publicly. It’s important, he said, to get to a point where this discussion doesn’t even need to be had and these stories are no longer front page news. “If you go to your place of work every day and feel like you have to hide or do things differently and not be yourself, you don’t want that,” he said. “That’s not a way to live.”

Contributor: 
Annie Hollenbeck