Sports Diversity Award Event Comes To Kansas City

Past year Compete Petey Award winners.

From 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 10, LGBTQ+ athletes and allies from around the country will gather in Kansas City for the eighth annual Sports Diversity Awards sponsored by Compete magazine. Also known as the Petey Awards, the event recognizes the best in sports diversity and celebrates the magazine’s mission of “Uniting the World through Sports.”

In 2006, rugby players Eric Carlyle and David Riach founded Compete magazine, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. The two Phoenix Storm teammates were participating in the Bingham Cup tournament, the world championships of gay and inclusive rugby, when they were made aware of the dearth in LGBTQ+ sports coverage.

From the 2014 Petey Awards, Blake kjellerup - Olympian, and Esera Tuaolo - NFL Player and currently competing on "The Voice".

In 2008, the magazine began honoring an amateur LGBTQ+ athlete as Athlete of the Year. Two years later, the award was presented at a special event in West Hollywood, Calif. In 2011, the event received its current name, as Rugby World Cup winner and LGBTQ rights activist Ben Cohen hosted.

The nickname “Petey Awards” was coined in 2013, and the awards event has moved around to different cities. This year, it will be at the Westin Crown Center, 1 E. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

Ryan Long

The Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year will be Ryan Long. Jennifer Welter, the first female to coach in the NFL, will receive the Orbitz Trailblazer Award. In 2015, she coached linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals. “We are so excited to be hosting the Petey Awards in Kansas City, Mo., this year. We love the vibrant sports culture and spirit of inclusion, diversity, equality and acceptance,” said Carlyle, CEO of Compete magazine’s parent company, Media Out Loud.

Other winners include:

Outstanding Women’s League

  • Amateur Sports Alliance of North America(ASANA) softball league

Corporate Diversity Partnerfor work with the LGBTQ Sports Coalition, connecting LGBTQ sports planners with national suppliers

  • Connect Sports

Emerging Sports Destination

  • Detroit Sports Commission,Nonprofit that promotes Detroit as a destination for amateur sporting events

Outstanding University

  • Jill Shields,Deputy athletic director, Kansas State University

Sports Commission of the Year

  • KC Sports Commission & Kathy Nelson,president and CEO

Outstanding Professional Sports Organization

  • Major League Soccer

Catherine Kelly Community Service Award

  • Michael Lintecum, Producer, Lintecum Group, and executive director, Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

National Leadership Award

  • Patti Phillips, CEO, Women Leaders in College Sports

Corporate Community Partner

  • Prudential

Sports Ambassador Award

  • Scott Switzer

Molly Lenore Inspiring Athlete

  • Shigeo Iwamiya, Board member,National Gay Flag Football League

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is co-host for the awards. CJK Inc., a collaborative event partner, is responsible for bringing the Petey Awards to Kansas City.

There will be a Petey Awards Brunch at the Westin Crown Center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.

Web: Petey Awards – Compete magazine –

A portion of each ticket sale goes to the 2019 Gay Softball World Series and AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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