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All major leagues go purple for gay youth, show unprecedented support
From a news release

This article shared 4403 times since Thu Oct 18, 2012
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All major professional sports leagues to 'go purple' for Spirit Day with GLAAD in a historic show of support for LGBT youth on October 19

MLB, MLS Cares, NBA, WNBA, NFL, NASCAR Diversity, NHL, USA Track & Field, WWE join millions to speak out against bullying

Ricky Martin, Country music icon Reba McEntire, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, Jenni 'JWoww' Farley, Country Music Television (CMT), CNBC, MTV, VH1, Logo, BET, NBCUniversal, Paris Hilton, 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' Sign, New York Stock Exchange, Hosts of Good Morning America, The Talk, Days of Our Lives cast, Dianna Agron, Chaz Bono, Fran Drescher, Joel McHale, Sir Ian McKellen, Maria Menounos, Bernadette Peters and more pledge to wear purple in stand against bullying

NEW YORK, NY, October 18, 2012 - In an unprecedented show of support, GLAAD today announced that the six most prominent American major sports leagues - The National Basketball Association (NBA) / Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and NASCAR's diversity program - will all 'go purple' for Spirit Day on Friday, October 19, in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. The six leagues will send messages on Spirit Day to bullied LGBT youth via Twitter and Facebook. The leagues join athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and Terrell Owens who have already pledged to 'go purple,' and sports organizations, including the GLAAD Amplifier Award-winning "You Can Play" project, GLAAD partner Athlete Ally, GO! Athletes, and UK Rugby champion Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), like the NBA, will be taking part in Spirit Day for the second consecutive year. USA Track & Field will also participate by providing support through social media.

For a full list of participants, an anti-bullying resource kit for students and parents as well as Spirit Day digital apps visit and follow #SpiritDay

"From sports leagues to faith institutions to national monuments, schools and celebrities, millions of Americans will unite this week in an extraordinary show of support for LGBT youth and in a stand against bullying," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "At a time when 8 out of 10 LGBT youth report being harassed at school, it's now more important than ever that we let every young person know that it's okay to be who you are."

Country music icon Reba McEntire and Country Music Television (CMT) will join MTV, VH1, Logo and BET, as well as Latin music icon Ricky Martin, pop sensation Fun., 80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Grammy Award-winning R&B recording artist Brandy Norwood, teen music star Aaron Carter, country music star Chely Wright, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters and EGOT Rita Moreno in 'going purple' for Spirit Day on October 19. More than one hundred celebrity participants are listed below or here:

Viacom's brands will be participating on-air, online, through social media and employee engagement efforts. MTV, VH1, Logo, TV Land and TeenNick will turn on-air logos purple on Spirit Day; MTV, VH1 and Logo will turn online logos purple as well and support through social media,, and, which will be posting feature stories and never-before-seen "It Gets Better" clips. MTV will turn its 44 ? high-definition screen in Times Square purple for the day. The cast of TeenNick's 'Degrassi' and 'Victorious' star Avan Jogia will be wearing purple and Viacom, BET, CMT and Paramount Pictures will also support the day through social media. MTV stars, including 'Jersey Shore' cast members DJ Pauly D, Jenni 'JWoww' Farley, Sammi Giancola and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi will also participate.

Comcast and NBCUniversal will participate including NBC owned stations, Telemundo network and owned stations. Hosts of "Access Hollywood," CNBC, "Chelsea Lately," and E! News, among others, will wear purple.

The Sundance Channel will also participate by turning its on-air and web logos purple for Spirit Day on October 19. Additionally, the network will go purple on its social media pages and share photos of Sundance staff in their Spirit Day purple.

The 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign' will be turned purple and several hotels on the Las Vegas strip will light their marquees purple with an anti-bullying message, GLAAD previously announced with R&R Partners Foundation. In addition, the Duke Energy Tower in Charlotte, NC will join the New York Stock Exchange, Thomson Reuters' Times Square screen, the LAX Pylon Lights and JFK traffic tower in lighting up purple for Spirit Day on October 19.

Hosts of 'Good Morning America' will wear purple on the October 19 show. 'Watch What Happens Live' host Andy Cohen will also wear purple for Spirit Day on the October 18 program. Hosts of "Access Hollywood," CNBC, "Chelsea Lately," "E! News," "Extra," "The Talk," "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and "The Wendy Williams Show" will also wear purple on the air for Spirit Day. Host of 'Extra,' Maria Menounos, will join previously announced celebrity participants including Dianna Agron, Perez Hilton, Avan Jogia, Shay Mitchell, Shaquille O'Neal, George Takei and Wendy Williams as a Spirit Day Ambassador.

American Apparel, the vertically integrated clothing manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles, launched a Spirit Day store featuring the company's purple clothing items. Spirit Day supporters will receive a special 10% discount on the purple items by using the promo code 'SPIRIT' at check out. American Apparel will also donate 10% of all 'purple proceeds' to GLAAD.

Each year GLAAD coordinates hundreds of national and local organizations, schools, celebrities, media, sports leagues, corporations, parishes, faith groups and landmarks. GLAAD is also working with gay teen Katy Butler who is calling for President Obama and Governor Romney to wear purple on Friday. Her petition has garnered thousands of signatures: Earlier this year, Katy launched a petition to call on the MPAA to change the rating of the documentary BULLY.

Additionally, celebrities including Chad Allen, Juliette Angelo, Louis Van Amstel, Bryan Batt, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Chaz Bono, Brandy, Bailey Buntain, Keenan Cahill, Kristin Cavallari, 'Quan T. Chanteur, Crystal Chappell, Preston Charles, Christian Chavez, Derek Chavez, Margaret Cho, Mario Cimarro, Andy Cohen, Ron Corning, Andres Cuervo, Bianca and Chiara D'Ambrosio, the cast of Days of Our Lives, the cast of Degrassi, Heather Doerksen, Fran Drescher, Elvis Duran, Carmen Electra, Jenni "JWoww" Farley, Craig Ferguson, Ray Ford, Fun., Stephen Fry, Rose Garcia, Teresa Giudice, Tony Goldwyn, Greer Grammer, Renee Graziano, Kathy Griffin, Melanie Griffith, Damien Haas, Randy Harrison, Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Lisa Hochstein, Cheyenne Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Peter Marc Jacobson, Avan Jogia, Kaya Jones, Tamala Jones, Jarod Joseph, Keahu Kahuaui, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Jennifer Knapp, C.J. Koegel, Kara Laricks, Laura Leon, Bubba Lewis, Judith Light, Mario Lopez, Katie Lowes, Jessica Lu, Lilia Luciano, Desi Lydic, Sean Maher, Marlee Matlin, Edith Marquez, Katlin Mastandrea, Lucia Mendez, Dean McDermott, Reba McEntire, Joel McHale, Sir Ian McKellan, Maria Menounous, Paula Meronek, Windell Middlebrooks, Andy Mientus, Justin Mikita, Cesar Milan, Dannii Minogue, Alicia Minshew, D.W. Moffett, Rita Moreno, Sarah Mitchell, Shay Mitchell, Sonja Morgan, Jessica Morris, Mary Murphy, Brandon Nelson, Matt Nordgren, Tyler Oakley, Shaquille O'Neal, JD Ordonez, Terrell Owens, AJ Pagan, Ian Patrick, Marysol Patton, Zack Pearlman, Bernadette Peters, Melissa Peterman, Pauly D, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Joey Pollari, Marisa del Portillo, Stephanie Pratt, Cierra Ramirez, Emilie de Ravin, Jasmine Reynaud, Jillian Rose Reed, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Rickards, Brent Ridge, RoBA, Chef Jason Roberts, Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Sara Rue, Thomas Sadoski, SallyAnn Salsano, Erin Sanders, Helenna Santos-Levy, Kenny Santucci, Robb Schreiber, Diego Schoening, Benji Schwimmer, Ryan Serhant, William Shatner, Lindsey Shaw, Christina Sicoli, Gail Simmons, Freddie Smith, Evan Starkman, KaDee Strickland, George Takei, Molly Tarlov, Lea Thompson, Shannon Tweed-Simmons, Kirsten Vangsness, Vanessa Villela, Michelle Visage, Bruce Vilanch, Kathy Wakile, Stephen Wallem, Kerry Washington, Trey Weatherholtz, Jill and Nikki Weiss-Goldstein, Wendy Williams, Henry Winkler, Marissa Winokur and Kyra Zagorsky will also participate by going purple on October 19. For a full list please visit:

Celebrity participants and Spirit Day Ambassadors are also encouraging fans and supporters to donate to GLAAD, GLSEN and The Trevor Project by texting 'PURPLE' to 80888 to make a $5 contribution. AT&T is the exclusive underwriter of the Spirit Day Text Purple campaign.

In addition to the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Treasure Island, The Tropicana Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will also turn their resort marquees purple along the Las Vegas Strip 11 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. and then again 10 p.m. 10:15 p.m. The Fremont Street Experience will also go purple for Spirit Day at 10 p.m. and again at 11 p.m., lighting its famed Viva Vision canopy, which consists of more than 12 million LED lights and spans four city blocks. Organized by The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center), a meet-up for teens and young adults will take place that evening at the Fremont Street Experience. Marquee Nightclub, located in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, will host a Spirit Day after-party with special celebrity host NHL star Sean Avery.

Other Las Vegas-area participants include Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA); Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN); Golden Rainbow; Hilton Garden Inn; Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce; Las Vegas Pride; Nevada State Senator David Parks; QVegas; and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

GLAAD and Toyota Financial Services last week announced the release of the "Go Purple for #SpiritDay powered by Toyota Financial Services" apps for iPhone and Android. The app provides users with anti-bullying resources, calls to action, and a tool that can turn photos purple and share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The free app is now available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. To download, visit:

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation's second largest school district with more than 640,000 students in over 900 schools, will participate by sharing information about Spirit Day with students on its website and through its social media channels.

Corporations including AMC Entertainment, American Airlines, American Apparel, AT&T, atelier-lb, Caesars Foundation, Carat, Citi, Comcast, CreagerCole Communications, Delta Air Lines, Draftfcb, Digitas, Ernst & Young LLP, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hyatt, Johnnye's East Texas Soul, LBNY, Leo Burnett Business, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Marquee Las Vegas, MediaVest, MetLife, MSL New York, Mobli, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, PwC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Seventeen Magazine, Southern California Edison, StumbleUpon, Thomson Reuters, Toyota Financial Services, tumblr, Viacom, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, Yahoo! and Zenith Optimedia will also participate in Spirit Day. Participating companies will distribute information to employees about wearing purple and/or turn their logo purple on October 19.

Local and national groups and organizations including All Out; The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth; American Federation of Teachers (AFT); Athlete Ally; Bienestar; bklyn boihood; Broadway Impact; The Brown Boi Project; Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization; the BULLY Project; Campus Pride; CenterLink; Circle of Voices; Courage Campaign; Empire State Pride Agenda; Equality California; Equality Florida; Equality Illinois; Equality Maryland; Equality Matters; Equality Michigan; the Equality Network; Equality North Carolina; Equality Ohio; Equality Texas; Equality Utah; Fair Wisconsin; FALGBT; Familia es Familia; Fierce; Forty to None Project; Forum for Equality; Freedom to Marry; FriendFactor; Forum for Equality; Garden State Equality; Georgia Equality; Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY); Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD); Give a Damn Campaign; GMHC; GSA Network; Hetrick-Martin Institute; Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC); Human Rights Campaign (HRC); Immigration Equality; Indiana Equality; It Gets Better Project; Latino Equality Alliance; Latino GLBT History; LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent; Log Cabin Republicans; the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Mass Equality; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC); MOVILH; National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); the National Bullying Prevention Center by PACER; the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE); National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP); the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); One Colorado; One Iowa; OutFront Minnesota; Out & Equal; OutServe; Palm Beach County Human Rights Council; Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Point Foundation; promo; Progress Florida; Reaching Out MBA; Safe Schools of South Florida; SAGE; Save Dade; Sean's Last Wish; Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN); Straight But Not Narrow; Sun Serve; Sylvia Rivera Law Project; The Task Force; Tennessee Equality Project; Transgender Law Center; Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF); Trans People of Color Coalition (TPCC);Tennessee Equality Project; Trans Ohio; Trans People of Color Coalition; Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN); The Trevor Project; True Colors Fund; Truth Wins Out; The Village Family Services; We Are Family; WikiQueer; and Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) will all participate by wearing purple on October 19, turning their social media channels purple, and encouraging members to participate.

Additional media partners include 495 Productions, The Advocate,, Boy Culture, Diversity News Magazine, Edge Media Network, Frontiers in L.A. Magazine,,, Here TV, HIV Plus Magazine,,, HuffPost Gay Voices, Hulu, Instinct Magazine,,,, Next Magazine, OUT, OUT Traveler,,, Seventeen, The Seattle Lesbian,, Think Progress and The Washington Blade.

This year, more than 50 faith organizations, congregations and synagogues are going purple for Spirit Day. Notable faith leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson, Christian music artist Jennifer Knapp, and YouTube theologian, Matthew Vines have all encouraged their followers to go purple for Spirit Day. Faith-based organizations include the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, Metropolitan Community Churches, Believe Out Loud, Sojourners, Muslims for Progressive Values, Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Dignity USA, Fortunate Families, the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Holy Angels Catholic Community, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics, Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, Catholic Association of Students for Equality, New Ways Ministry, Keshet, the Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality, Star of Davida, Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, Beth Chayim Chadashim, He'bro, The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, Eden Theological Seminary Common Grounds, Auburn Seminary, Affirmation United Methodists, Reconciling Ministries Network, Druid Hills United Methodist Church, Travis Park United Methodist Church, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Pacific School of Religion, Coalition of Welcoming Congregations in the Bay Area, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, More Light Presbyterians, Presbyterian Welcome, Religious Institute: Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion, Human Rights Campaign Religion & Faith Program, ReconcilingWorks, St. James Lutheran Church, Journey Fellowship, BJUnity, Canyonwalker Connections, Groundswell, Inside, Owldolatrous, The Evangelical Network, The Marin Foundation, The Naming Project, and LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent. Congregations and faith organizations are encouraged to visit the faith page of the Spirit Day web site (; to participate in Spirit Day.

In 2010, teenager Brittany McMillan called on her friends to wear purple as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives to bullying. With GLAAD's help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN's Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.

"Showing support for your friends, family and teachers can make all the difference in the world to young LGBT people, whether they are going through a tough time or not," said 17-year-old McMillan. "This year, Spirit Day is going to be bigger and better than ever, and I'm so thrilled to be going purple alongside some of my favorite celebrities, as well as millions of others in a united stand against bullying."

For more information visit

About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

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