On Feb. 7, LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD, along with The National Football League (NFL), hosted the third annual "A Night of Pride" at Caesar's Palace in Super Bowl LVIII's host city of Las Vegas, a press release noted.
The evening, hosted by former *NSYNC member Lance Bass, featured a performance by singer-songwriter VINCINT and a panel discussion moderated by LZ Granderson on how inclusion in sports advances acceptance for LGBTQ+ people. The panel featured now-retired NFL player Carl Nassib, the NFL's first openly gay player to play in a regular-season game, along with trailblazer and NFL replay assistant Desiree Abrams and Kevin Maxen, the first out male NFL coach.
Guests included NFL Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jonathan Beane as well as LGBTQ+ leaders, voices and allies such as model Brooks Marks, actor Zeke Smith, NFL Correspondent Ryan Mitchell, filmmaker Sav Rogers, chairperson of CBS Sports Sean McManus, and GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, among others.
Also attending was GLAAD's 2024 cohort of the Equity in Media and Entertainment Initiative (EMEI), a three-year pathway program with varying media focuses designed to specifically pipeline and elevate Black LGBTQ+ creatives and Black queer storytelling across entertainment, in Hollywood and media at-large. This year's 2024 cohort focuses on Black LGBTQ+ independent music artists such as 2 AM Ricky, Albanus Thierry, Asiahn, Damez, SHAH, Suni MF, Victor Jackson and Neverending Nina.
Smirnoff presented the event, with additional partners Starter and Google.