AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time ever, UMass Football will host a “pride day” to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
It comes with some speculation for Saturday’s game, it was chosen because they were playing against Liberty University an evangelical school. A member of UMass Athletics said this was a clear coincidence with only a handful of home games to choose from and this has been something they wanted to do before the pandemic.
Pride Day is in collaboration with UMass’s Stonewall Center which provides LGBTQIA+ resources as well as programming for students. Liberty University’s Honor Code bans same-sex couples from showing displays of affection like holding hands.
22News asked Jeff Smith, the Deputy Athletic Director for External Operations at UMass if they are prepared for a clash of ideologies, “we do a read at the beginning of each one of our contests here on campus just in terms of sportsmanship and language and you know respectfulness for our opponents and officials and all of those things.”
Saturday’s game will feature educational material on the board and the sidelines. Coaches and staff will be wearing UMass gear with the pride flag on it. Kick-off is at 3:30 p.m.