Super Bowl 50 Is Working Hard to Be LGBT-Friendly

By Pete Kane, SF WeeklyPublished: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014Apart from certain religious hierarchies, professional sports remains perhaps the biggest pocket of institutional homophobia left in American society.But that, too, might be changing.The Chronicle reported last week that in preparation for Super Bowl 50 (which will be played in 2016 at Levi’s Stadium), the National Football League is adding LGBT-owned small businesses to its outreach efforts. Business Connect, which is intended to “increase opportunities for minority, women, disabled veteran” and LGBT-owned businesses, is a joint project between the NFL and the Bay Area’s host committee. Apart from being the right thing to do, it's also a shrewd business move in such an LGBT-heavy region.

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For Super Bowl 50, NFL courts LGBT businesses

By John Coté, San Francisco ChroniclePublished: Sunday, November 9, 2014It’s not quite painting a rainbow on the logo for Super Bowl 50, but it’s a step in that direction.The National Football League is showing a more inclusive side with its landmark 50th anniversary Super Bowl, which will be played at the 49er’s new Levi’s Stadium. The league and event organizers are set to announce Monday that, for the first time, the NFL will expand its outreach on contracting opportunities for the 2016 event to businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.“I think it’s incredible history that’s being made right here in San Francisco, and what better place for it to happen?” said Robb Fleischer, president of the Golden Gate Business Association, the nation’s first LGBT chamber of commerce. “I think it sends a message nationwide.”Super Bowl 50 will be played at the stadium in Santa Clara, but about 10 days of lead-up activities, including parties and the Super Bowl Village, will be in San Francisco, with its rich history of gay-rights activism.The NFL’s move comes as a stream of court rulings have come down in favor of same-sex marriage and a week after Apple CEO Tim Cook, revealed he was gay.The NFL already targets small businesses owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans in its effort to line up local vendors through its Business Connect program for the lead-up and production of the Super Bowl. Bay Area LGBT business owners were thrilled about being added to the list.

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