An upcoming film exposes the many struggles LGBT athletes continue to face in competitive sports.
Alone in the Game, an original AT&T Audience Network documentary, cracks open the culture of prejudice and exclusion that has kept LGBT athletes and athletic administrators trapped in the closet at collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels.
The feature-length doc also cheers for a younger generation of out LGBT athletes who, despite the lack of role models, are scoring victories by demanding the opportunity to compete in potentially unsafe environments.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, former ESPN president John Skipper, former NBA center Jason Collins, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy, NFL draftee Michael Sam, and triathlete Chris Mosier are among those included in the film.
Other featured athletes include Vanderbilt football player Riley Tindol, high school athlete Trevor Betts, and Pepperdine Christian University basketball players Layana White and Haley Videckis, who found love and lost their scholarships.
“I’d always planned on killing myself when I was done with football,” says former NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan in the trailer. “I thought I’d rather be dead than an out gay man.”
“If there wasn’t homophobia in sports, and if everyone felt comfortable to be who they were, then everyone who was gay would be out,” says Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe.
“We’re giving viewers a rare look into the lives of these elite athletes’ unique journeys and open their eyes to the daily challenges these athletes face on and off the field of play,” says Alone in the Game creator and executive producer David McFarland in a statement.
“With added attention to this issue, I’m hopeful we can affect real change at the highest levels of American sport and that the next generation of LGBTQ athletes will be judged by their athletic performance, rather than their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Alone in the Game premieres June 28 on AT&T Audience Network.