LGBT organization Athlete Ally has released what they are calling the “Athletic Equality Index.” This document looks at the athletic programs of the colleges in the NCAA’s five power conferences to determine how LGBT-inclusive they are.
According to the Athlete Ally website, “The Athletic Equality Index was developed as a way to measure LGBTQ inclusion policies and practices in athletic spaces. This first-of-its-kind inaugural report provides a comprehensive look at how member programs of the NCAA Power Five conferences are supporting their LGBTQ student-athletes, coaches, administrators, staff, and fans.”
USA Today reports that Athlete Ally rated all the universities based on their LGBT inclusion policies. If a school was found to have what was deemed an anti-LGBT policy, points were deducted.
Some of the criteria Athlete Ally looked at were:
- School-wide nondiscrimination policies
- Openly LGBT staff members or vocal allies
- LGBT specific resources to which student-athletes can access
- Student-athlete led groups or recurring initiatives that discuss LGBTQ inclusion, diversity and equality
The Pac-12 conference schools came out on top, according to Athlete Ally’s measurement. The SEC came in last.
Athlete Ally founder and executive director Hudson Taylor explained what the organization hopes to achieve through the Athlete Equality Index:
"We hope the Athletic Equality Index will act as the catalyst needed for institutions to continue the pursuit of proactive LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.”
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Publication date: September 13, 2017