This June, the inaugural Pride Cup welcomes LGBTQ+ and ally athletes of all skill levels to come “Play with Pride.” Held by the KindRED Pride Foundation, The Pride Cup invites queer and trans athletes to gather June 3-4 in Orlando, Florida, and challenge each other in summer sports including pickleball, beach volleyball, and women’s flag football.
KindRED Pride Foundation is also behind the popular Red Shirt Pride Days at Walt Disney World. While not the originators of “Gay Days” at Disney, KindRED Pride Foundation “was inspired by the desire to expand the magic created by the 30-year tradition of the original “Gay Day at Magic Kingdom” in Orlando.” With The Pride Cup, the foundation expands its goal of celebrating inclusion and community, with sports as the catalyst. Regarding who is welcome to participate in The Pride Cup or their global initiative Red Shirt Pride Day, KindRED says only one thing matters: “Are you Kind?”
In conjunction with The Pride Cup, KindRED is also holding a Diversity in Sports Summit, featuring professional and collegiate athletes speaking out about their experiences as LGBTQ+ athletes. Guests include former NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan, USTA, Diversity and Inclusion Director Andrea Snead and ballroom dancing champion Sergei Aliev.
In recent months, Florida, where Pride Cup will take place, has received criticism and boycotts over HB 1557, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney, which drew ire for not coming out against the bill strongly enough and experienced walkouts from LGBTQ+ and ally employees, released a statement March 28 supporting the repeal of HB 1557. As for KindRED, they have released a statement of their own calling for visibility in the face of continued discrimination. “We stand against measures opposing what we stand for: Diversity, Inclusion, Equality, Safe Expression, and Kindness,” said Tom Christ, Board Member of the KindRED Pride Foundation. “We believe one way to fight back is show our numbers. The first weekend in June is the perfect opportunity as it coincides with the 30-plus year tradition of RED Shirt Pride Days at Disney, which has a deep legacy of profound activism.”
For those who cannot make it out to Orlando to participate in the Pride Cup, there is the 6th Annual CommUNITY Rainbow Run/Walk, which you can join virtually or in person. Sponsored by KindRED and onePULSE Foundation, the goal of the Rainbow run is to raise $49,000 for onePULSE, a nonprofit offering scholarships, educational programs and eventually a museum honoring the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.
Click here to learn more about The Pride Cup, Diversity in Sports Summit, and KindRED Pride Foundation.