Thursday night’s Washington Football Team game against the New York Giants will mark an important moment for the franchise and the NFL: it will mark the league’s first official Pride Night, according to D.C.’s Metro Weekly.
The franchise has reserved blocks of tickets at different price points for Pride Night attendees to watch the game at FedEx Field together.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and LGBTQ marching band DC’s Different Drummers will also perform at the game.
Washington’s Pride Night comes amid the team’s attempt to rebuild its image, which began last summer when it dropped its offensive team name and became the Washington Football Team as they search for a permanent moniker.
The team hired Jason Wright as its team president, the first Black team president in the NFL, who has made it a focal point to incorporate a more diverse culture.
Thursday will also be Latinx Night as part of the league-wide celebration of Latin heritage in Week 2 and retiring the number of Bobby Mitchell, the first African-American to be a part of the Washington Football team.
The NFL’s embrace of the LGBTQ community has been slow, to say the least.
There does not appear to be any record of any other team hosting an official Pride Night, although the Detroit Lions promoted a “Pride Package” geared toward LGBTQ fans in 2019.
Earlier this year, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active player to come out as gay. His forced fumble of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in overtime on Monday night directly led to the team’s Week 1 victory.