We are officially into June and Pride month, and the San Francisco 49ers, led by 49ers PRIDE, are recognizing the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways. Founded in 2019, 49ers PRIDE is the official fan club for 49ers fans who identify as LGBTQ+ and allies.
To start things off, June 2021 saw the launch of the 2021 49ers PRIDE collection, which is the first gender-neutral line to be released by an NFL team.
“I wanted everybody to feel like they had a place, and that they had gear that they could enjoy,” said Hannah Gordon, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel for the 49ers, who also designed both of the shirts. “And I was inspired by early nineties college football cutoff jerseys. When you look at the like boxy cropped top, and then I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like a muscle tank…We’re in California, so inspired by what we’ve seen at San Francisco Pride every year…[W]e came up with a two-piece capsule collection, and then worked with Fanatics to manufacturer it and now it’s here, and we’re so excited.”
All of the proceeds from the line will go to the following organizations: San Francisco LGBT Center, Oakland LGBTQ Center and The LGBTQ Youth Space: San Jose.
“I think it’s really important for us to lead the movement,” Gordon said. “And that comes from the top and ownership. It comes through our whole employee base. I was talking to somebody yesterday who doesn’t work on this part of the business. And they said they felt so proud when they saw our shirts yesterday and saw them being discussed on television. And he said, ‘Let’s keep being the people who are ahead of the curve.’ … [T]hat this is who we are as the 49ers. This is who we want to be.”
In addition to the shirts, the 49ers will be recognizing LGBTQ+ Pride month in a variety of ways. “49ers Pride: Meet the Faithful” – content that features members of the 49ers Faithful LGTBQ+ community – debuts today, June 3, and will run throughout the month. On June 22, 49ers PRIDE will hold its annual LGBTQ+ Activism in Sports Panel featuring: Sam Rapoport – Senior Director of DEI, NFL, Kimberly Chexnayder – On-Air Personality, NFL Media, Fallon Fox – Former Professional MMA Fighter and Kurtis Gabriel – San Jose Sharks RW. NFL Media’s Kimmi Chex will moderate.
The 49ers are doing incredible work around equality, but, unfortunately, that work is not always met with positivity, but that makes it even more crucial.
“…I came away feeling was a renewed sense of duty and responsibility of why this work is important,” Gordon said. “Because there were so many people who were excited and positive, but as always happens in those forums, there are also people who are spreading hate and comments that are homophobic. And that was just a reminder that it’s still necessary, that there’s a reason that we’re doing this.”
For Gordon, who is expecting her first child, doing her part to teach acceptance and love has become even more of a mission as she prepares to be a mom.
“…I definitely think that experiencing the miracle of creating life in your body and carrying life and knowing there’s this human being coming into the world that you are completely and totally responsible for, as opposed to the duty that I feel to all human beings, maybe a little less personal, but still present, I do feel like I want to make sure that my little girl grows up in a world where people are accepted for who they are and they don’t have to live in fear of violence, whether it’s because of the color of their skin or who they love,” Gordon said.
*Photos provided by 49ers.com