This gay-friendly rugby team took it all off to make a big point about acceptance.

World, meet the Nashville Grizzlies.

All photos courtesy of the Nashville Grizzlies. Used with permission.


They're a rugby team out of Tennessee, but ... they're a bit different from a lot of other squads.

The Grizzlies are a gay and inclusive team, which means they make a point to accept every player, regardless of sexual orientation and skill level.

"Team sports can be intimidating, especially if you've faced negative stereotypes about your [sexual] orientation for your entire life," Tom Hormby, team secretary for the Grizzlies, told Upworthy. "We will work with anybody to help them develop their rugby skills and get into excellent shape."

To help fight for sports inclusiveness, they created a calendar. And they're not exactly ... fully clothed in it.

NSFW WARNING: If you choose to continue scrolling right now (and you should — oh gosh, you so should), you WILL see some not-so-fully clothed men.

The team — a registered nonprofit — wants to make sure every guy in Nashville with an interest in rugby feels welcome to play, regardless of who he's into off the field or his financial status. So, considering the sport can get pricey, the team created a 2016 calendar to sell to help cover participation costs, like tournament registrations, transportation to and from games, and field rentals.

Aaaand the guys generously decided to show some skin to make your 2016 a little more satisfying.

Calendar photos by Chris Malone, used with permission from the Nashville Grizzlies.

Homophobia still exists in the sports world, so it's important when teams like the Grizzlies take a stand.

Anti-gay attitudes are still widespread in sports, but organizations like Athlete Ally — a nonprofit that encourages straight athletes to speak up against homophobia — have gained thousands of supporters in their fight for inclusion.

It's a fight the Grizzlies know all too well — especially considering where they live and play in Tennessee.

"Tennessee has a reputation for not being gay-friendly," Hormby explained to Upworthy. "We want to show everybody in this state that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of and that we're not going to let homophobic attitudes hold us back from playing a tough sport like rugby."

The Grizzlies are gearing up to host the biggest gay and inclusive rugby tournament in the world next year.

Yeah, that's pretty huge. The Bingham Cup is coming to Nashville next May (the very first time it's come to the South) and is expected to draw about 1,500 players from around the world. Teams across North America, Europe, and Australia have already signed up.

To prepare to play in the tournament, the Grizzlies decided to go up against some tougher teams in their local rugby union this year. That meant playing mostly straight teams for the first time in several seasons...

And it's been great!

"Rugby has an accepting attitude toward players of different backgrounds," Hormby said. "No matter what you might think off the field, you always treat your opponents with respect on the field and you almost always have a post-game party where you can meet players from the other team and make new friends."

The Grizzlies may just be one team, but they're one team making a big difference.

"This will be a great opportunity to show that gay and inclusive sports teams can thrive, even in the South," Hormby said of the upcoming tournament in a press release.

"We don't let negative stereotypes about gay men prevent us from playing a game we love."

You can preorder the calendar and support the Grizzlies here.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.