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Pride nights at major sporting events have become as American as apple pie.

Major League Baseball has made huge strides in recent years in recognizing LGBTQ fans and players. Only the Angels and the Yankees haven't yet held Pride events. But with the Angels announcing plans to host Pride Night in June 2019, the sea change is almost complete.

It's a rapidly accelerating culture of acceptance for a sport that as recently as 2015 faced backlash from fans in one city that hosted its first Pride night. But even that story had a positive ending. The Chicago Cubs are believed to have held the first Pride Night in 2001 and are one of at least 11 teams to sell official Pride merchandise at games.


During the 2018 season, 23 teams are set to host Pride nights, with many having past and future events on the books. As the world of sports continues to evolve on LGBTQ issues, that's a lot of progress in a very short window of time.

Even the New York Yankees — the only team left so far without an official Pride planned — still recognize that inclusion is paramount.

New York is home to Stonewall, where the modern gay rights movement got its start. In 1994, Yankee Stadium played to host the closing ceremonies of the Gay Games. It seems that it would be one of the first, not the last, baseball team to get on board.

Former Major League star Billy Bean, who came out in 1999 and in 2014 was named MLB's inclusion ambassador, said he's talked to the Yankees about hosting a Pride night but wants it to feel "organic."

Team representatives have said the Yankees are simply moving away from theme nights but insist they are actively working with the LGBTQ community to ensure an inclusive atmosphere at games. But as any sports fan can attest, optics matter. And right now there may be no better public display than hosting a Pride night.

"It's part of us getting better and understanding the value of being inclusive," Bean said. "There's a massive significance to that message."

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

There's still more work to be done to make sports more inclusive, but Pride nights are a hopeful sign of what's to come.

Major League Baseball has really upped its game as far as inclusion in recent years, and it should be commended for it. And there's still more work to be done for making sports everywhere a safe and welcome space for all people — fans and the athletes themselves included. Pride Nights send a powerful message that all are welcome.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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