Patriots Officially Sponsor Gay Bowl 17

Rob Kraft with LGBT football team gay bowl

Image Courtesy of Facebook – FLAG Flag Football Boston

The New England Patriots will sponsor Gay Bowl 17, the National Gay Flag Football League’s annual championship, the team confirmed with Outsports.com.

Patriots Pride

The Patriots will be the first-ever NFL team to sponsor the bowl. This is yet another great move in the franchise’s history of supporting equality of all kinds. Last month on April 27, Bob Kraft himself even attended a banquet held by FLAG (Friends, Lesbians, and Gays) flag football, Boston’s chapter of the NGFFL. The banquet was held to present high school athlete Chris Morse with a scholarship from the Greater Boston chapter of PFLAG.

Back in 2015, the New England Patriots also gave immense public support to the LGBTQ+ community by signing an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage, leading up to it’s eventual legalization.

LGBT flag football boston gay bowl

Image Courtesy of Facebook – FLAG Flag Football Boston

Gay Bowl History

FLAG was founded in 1998 and consists of 22 teams from around Greater Boston with 14 players each. League games are played on Saturdays in the spring and fall.

The Gay Bowl was first held in Los Angeles in 2002 with three competing teams- one of which was Boston, and has been held every year since. Starting in 2003, the bowl was held every Columbus Day weekend.

Three divisions now compete in Gay Bowl play; Open A, Open B, and a Women’s League. The championship is always held in a different member city of NGFFL. FLAG won the bid to host this year, so the games will be held at the Fields in Progin Park in Lancaster, MA this Columbus Day weekend. Players will stay at either the Revere Hotel Boston Common or Boston Park Plaza. Not only do teams get to fight it out on the turf, but festivities in and around the city will be sponsored by the league all weekend.

lgbt beach football boston gay bowl

Image Courtesy of Facebook – FLAG Flag Football Boston

This is the first time the Patriots have sponsored the bowl, but not the first time they’ve openly supported it. Back in 2003 when Boston last hosted, the Patriots sent former linebacker Andre Tippet, who also did the ceremonial coin toss.

Shipping Up to Boston

About 40 teams are expected to show up for Gay Bowl 17, representing the NGFFL’s 20 member cities. The NGFFL has over 200 active teams from the US and Canada.

This sponsorship truly reflects the progressive spirit and inclusiveness of our city. Hopefully it will lead the way for other teams to show their support for this event and equality in sports. Certainly, Gay Bowl 17 will be a fun-filled weekend for all involved. This will be another great display of Boston’s support for the LGBTQ+ community!

Read more about this event here. 

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