Team Partners with the San Diego School District to encourage LGBT acceptance in school and youth sports teams
Learn more about the Team Respect Challenge here.
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres pledged to support and respect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth (LGBT) by signing the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) Team Respect Challenge. The players have pledged to avoid name-calling and language that puts down others because of differences such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or religion.
By taking this challenge, the Padres hope to encourage youth to follow their example by avoiding harmful language and by treating all team members with respect. The Padres, who became aware of the pledge through the GLSEN San Diego chapter, are the first professional sports team to sign the Team Respect pledge.
"As baseball comes back from the break, the San Diego Padres have made it clear who the real all-stars are by signing on to GLSEN's Team Respect Challenge," said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. "From the pros to the playgrounds, far too many athletes seem to think that disrespectful language and behavior are just part of the game. The Padres have sent a clear message to youth everywhere: Name-calling and harassment of any kind is not acceptable and teams perform best when every teammate is safe and respected."
"We applaud the Padres for signing this pledge, and we hope that the students involved in athletic teams throughout the District follow their great example," said San Diego Unified School District Superintendent, Bill Kowba. "We are committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment, free from all forms of bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. In this regard, the Padres have proven themselves to be valuable role models for San Diego students."
The pledge signed echoes the San Diego Unified School District's recently adopted "Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Prohibition Policy," which prohibits bullying in any form at school or school-related events. The policy explicitly states that bullying includes acts motivated by race, religion, creed, color, marital status, parental status, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental or physical disability or any other distinguishing characteristic.
The Team Respect Challenge is part of Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project, which seeks to make K-12 athletics and physical education safe and inclusive for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Additional information about Changing the Game is available at http://sports.glsen.org.
The text of the Team Respect Pledge signed by the Padres is below:
We, the San Diego Padres pledge to commit to respect, safety and inclusion for all members of our team and community. We pledge to take leadership by setting an example of respectful interactions for all. We pledge to:
Avoid using language, name-calling or slurs that put others down because of such differences as race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or religion.
Remind teammates who use "put down" language that "that's not ok on our team."
Treat all teammates with respect.
Believe that Team Respect is a winning strategy: When each team member feels safe and respected, they can play their best for the team.
Take leadership to set an example of respect for our team and fans as well as opposing teams and fans.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.