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Queerty: The NFL’s first ever Pride collection is here, queer, and super sexy


NFL

The NFL is celebrating Pride season with some sweet new merch. The league unveiled its new Pride collection this week, complete with tank tops, hoodies, hats, jackets and fanny packs.

The clothes are emblazoned with the phrases “Football is Love” and “Property of Pride Dept.” There is also a rainbow football!

Available on NFLshop.com, the league partnered with LGBTQ+ designer Humberto Leon to create its first ever Pride collection.

“Football is an integral part of the American landscape, and the NFL has shown the ability to bring people together to root, cheer, and celebrate together,” said Leon, via Adage. “While growing up in Los Angeles as a Raiders fan, I loved being able to showcase my hometown pride.”

While some teams have previously created their own Pride lines–the San Francisco 49ers came out with a gender-neutral collection in 2021–it’s a huge statement for the NFL to sell one league-wide. Multiple brands, including Bud Light and Target, have come under fire for LGBTQ+ inclusive marketing in recent months.

By embracing Pride, the NFL is showing it is unafraid of bigoted backlash.

“Working with the NFL on their first capsule collection tied to the celebration of LGBTQ pride was a full-circle moment in my career, and I am eager to share a collection that embodies football, love and inclusivity,” said Leon.

Humberto Leon

Humberto Leon

The NFL has amped up its support for LGBTQ+ causes in recent years, partnering with organizations such as The Trevor Project and GLAAD. When Carl Nassib publicly came out as gay–becoming the first active player to ever do so–the NFL matched his $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project. The league also donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project last year on National Coming Out Day.

Since 2017, the NFL also sponsors the National Gay Flag Football League’s annual championship tournament, the aptly titled “Gay Bowl.” The New England Patriots sponsored the event when it was held in Boston six years ago, and every team in the tournament’s host city has followed suit.

When Nassib came out in June 2021, the NFL followed with a video affirming its support for LGBTQ+ rights. The video says “football is gay, lesbian, queer, transgender and accepting.”

There are also multiple out execs in the NFL: Sam Rapoport, the senior director for diversity, equity and inclusion; and Christine Vicari, the senior vice president of labor finance.

Three years ago, Katie Sowers became the first woman and out gay coach in Super Bowl history (she was on the 49ers’ staff).

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s brother is gay as well.

Including Nassib, there have been 16 gay or bisexual players in NFL history.

On Instagram, Leon said the NFL plays an integral role in uniting the country.

“Football is an integral part of the American landscape, and the NFL has shown the ability to bring people together to root, cheer, and celebrate together,” he wrote.

Humberto Leon

As America’s most ubiquitous cultural institution–82 of the 100 most-watched shows on TV last year were NFL games–the league’s support for Pride sends a loud message. And it’s one we love to hear!

Scroll down for reaction to the league’s new awesome, and colorful, Pride merch…

As a life long football fan, this makes me so effing happy to see. Thank you for this

— Raven Sasaki (@RavenSasak80449) June 9, 2023

Checking it out! Awesome!

— Danielle Martin (@dmartymcfly) June 8, 2023

Ohhh that is awesome

— Ben 🌹 (@BenJDufton) June 8, 2023

YASSS

— bea (@hockeylesbianz) June 9, 2023

As a queer enby who likes football a little too much, I fricken love this! https://t.co/9JbQuSrE8Q

— mx boops is so much for stardust????? (@mandieboox3) June 8, 2023

I’d wear the hell out of this! https://t.co/oYPtpIR4Rs

— Johnny Stanton (@johnnystantoniv) June 8, 2023

??? well done team! https://t.co/Ly0PMNuHMD

— Lya Vallat (@Ballgirl8) June 8, 2023

LOVE LOVE LOVE https://t.co/qKEwnIfIFa

— Grace K (@gracee__kn) June 9, 2023

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