Second Pro Basketball Player Joins Athlete Ally: Dan Grunfeld to Carry the Message of Gay Inclusion
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (February 27, 2013): Athlete Ally, a leading organization working to raise awareness and end homophobia in sports, is pleased to announce that American basketball player Dan Grunfeld has joined the organization as an Athlete Ally.
Grunfeld, a resident of Washington D.C., is a 29 year-old small forward for the Israeli Basketball Super League. At Stanford University, he was first team All Pacific-10 Conferences as a junior. Dan is also the son of former New York Knicks guard and current Washington Wizards executive, Ernie Grunfeld. A committed ally, Dan recently published an op-ed in the Huffington Post about homophobia in sports.
"This organization is building a movement to end homophobia in sports and that’s an amazing thing to be a part of. We are sending a message that an athlete’s abilities on the court and character as a teammate are the only factors that matter. It’s important to me that I stand up for that simple belief and do my part to help make LGBT athletes feel respected in my sport," said Grunfeld.
"Dan Grunfeld took an important step when he published a piece in the Huffington Post about homophobia in sports”, says Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “He used his status as an athlete to help raise awareness about this important subject and did so in a way that supported and respected the LGBT community. Dan sets a perfect example for what it means to be an Athlete Ally. He’s doing what he can to make athletics open and welcoming."
Brian Ellner, who led the Campaign for New York Marriage and who serves on the Athlete Ally Board of Directors, added: "Dan’s voice as an international player is an important one, and it’s particularly exciting to see him demonstrate his allyship in such a vocal and public way. That’s what this movement is all about, stepping up and saying what needs to be said: that homophobia has no place in sports."
As an Athlete Ally, Grunfeld joins Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Brendon Ayanbadejo (Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens), Chris Kluwe (Minnesota Vikings), Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns), Connor Barwin (Houston Texans), Australian rugby star David Pocock, Australian Rules Football player Brock McLean, world champion cricketer Alex Blackwell and scores of college athletes who have already signed on. Dan will act as a liaison between the organization and his league, help promote Athlete Ally’s mission to end homophobia in sports by speaking out to his team, league and fan base, and encouraging his colleagues to join in the effort.