Football for all: Seahawks partner with LGBTQ football league

SEATTLE -- The Seahawks organization is joining a growing number of other NFL teams in visibly and actively supporting the LGBTQ community.

For the first year ever the team officially marched in Seattle and Spokane Pride parades.  The Seahawks have an employee whose job it is to work with the LGBTQ community as well.

On top of that, the team has signed on as a sponsor of Cascade Flag Football Association, the Seattle area's LGBTQ-friendly league.

Members of the Cascade league recently spent a day at the VMAC for training camp where they had a front row seat to preseason practice.  Then the following week additional players were invited to a preseason game where they spent some time on the sidelines at CenturyLink Field.

“We embrace the opportunity to support causes and organizations who encourage and celebrate a love of the game and foster a positive environment for people to connect with others in our community,” said Jeff Richards, Seahawks VP of marketing and community engagement. “We are proud to support the CFA and their commitment to an inclusive flag football league within the Seattle community.”

The league focuses on LGBTQ players, but anyone is welcome to play. That's the message that CFA hopes this new partnership will celebrate.

"It's basically telling everybody who is interested in playing football that anyone can play regardless of your sexual orientation, your age, gender, and all that," said Adam Vavrek with the Cascade Flag Football Association.

The 'Hawks official sponsorship includes financial support, as well as publicity and access to special events.

According to the Cascade Flag Football League, the partnership with the Seahawks is in line with programs sponsored by other NFL teams. The Minnesota Vikings sponsor the Minnesota Gay Flag Football League (MNGFFL), and the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots sponsored the last two national Gay Bowl tournaments when they were hosted in their respective cities.

“This is an exciting time for Cascade Flag Football. In addition to furthering our mission to make the sport accessible to a more diverse audience, we are actively working to expand our impact in the greater sports community. With the support of the Seahawks, we hope to not only further improve our mission, but increase what we are able to do within the greater community,” said Brian Hawker, CFA commissioner.

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