ESPN spent Tuesday morning sharing a Twitter thread to show solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, joining multiple divisions of the Walt Disney Company in condemning anti-LGBTQ legislation known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“ESPN believes in inclusivity and denounces legislation and actions across the United States that infringe on any human rights. We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, families, and fans,” the network tweeted. We’ll continue to partner with organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, be accountable where we fall short of expectations, and never stop telling stories about LGBTQIA+ athletes, like the ones that we’ll be sharing in this thread.”
ESPN believes in inclusivity and denounces legislation and actions across the United States that infringe on any human rights. We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, families, and fans.
— ESPN (@espn) March 22, 2022
The thread continued by sharing past articles published by ESPN, featuring LGBTQIA+ stories that are related to sports. In addition to ESPN, Disney, Disney+, and Hulu shared statements against the anti-LGBTQ legislation on social media Tuesday morning.
Disney Parks on Instagram … pic.twitter.com/HUzBlYj6il
— Lauren St. Germain (@LaurenWFTS) March 22, 2022
Here is a statement from Disney+ that was posted to its Instagram account today pic.twitter.com/7BnA7o8z3U
— Amanda Dukes (@AmandaDukesWESH) March 22, 2022
We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, storytellers, families, friends, and fans who are targeted by laws that marginalize and diminish their identities and lives. We remain committed to telling inclusive stories that unite us and celebrate the diverse LGBTQIA+ community.
— Hulu (@hulu) March 22, 2022
ESPN’s initiative comes as employees from Disney are threatening a walkout Tuesday afternoon to protest CEO Bob Chapek’s slow response to Florida legislation that critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill attempts to ban all discussion of gender identity in grades kindergarten through third grade. Critics have cited terminology in the bill which also bans such classroom instruction “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students,” claiming the restriction could extend to all grades.
Last week, ESPN broadcasters Courtney Lyle and Carolyn Peck went silent for two minutes during the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Tournament as a way of protesting the legislation. “A threat to any human rights is a threat to all human rights,” said Peck. They were joined by Elle Duncan, who spoke out against the legislation during ESPN’s studio coverage of the NCAA Women’s Tournament Friday afternoon.