New England Patriots throw support behind Providence Gay Flag Football League

PROVIDENCE – The Providence Gay Flag Football League kicked off its fall season last month with the help of a sponsorship from the New England Patriots, the nonprofit league recently announced.

The league said the bulk of the financial support will be used to make the league more affordable to players who may not be able to participate otherwise. Additionally, funds will go toward the league’s participation in the 2019 Gay Bowl in New York City, keeping costs low in order to make the experience available to as many players as possible.

A news release announcing the Patriots’ financial support did not specify a dollar figure. In response to an email seeking that information, the league declined to specify an amount.

Boston FLAG (Friends, Lesbians and Gays) Flag Football League has been supported by the Patriots for two decades, according to the two leagues.

- Advertisement -

“We’re happy to once again be partnering with the FLAG Flag Football league and are thrilled that there is now a Providence league as part of Patriots nation,” Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, said in a Providence Gay Flag Football League news release. “Both leagues represent the vision of LGBTQ inclusiveness and marriage equality that the Patriots embrace.”

The recreational football clubs said they strive to build relationships and break down stereotypes between LGBTQ and allied teammates and foster an environment where LGBTQ individuals can learn about and participate in a team sport – many for the first time in their lives. This fall, 24 teams and more than 350 players in Boston and 10 teams and 140 participants in Providence will compete weekly in their respective cities. Additionally, eight travel teams between the two cities will attend tournaments nationwide, including Gay Bowl XIX in New York City.

“Our league, in its first year, has already had an incredible impact on the Rhode Island LGBTQ community,” Duane Gosley, Providence Gay Flag Football League commissioner, said in a news release. “With support from the New England Patriots, we will be able to increase our recruitment and outreach programs within our local community. The Patriots sponsorship sends a powerful message recognizing the benefits leagues [such as] ours have to improve the health and well-being of the community we serve.”

According to the Providence Gay Flag Football League website, businesses that sponsor the league include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Grid Iron Ale House & Grille, Landmark Medical Center, Cornerstone Financial Group LLC, Mister Sister Erotica, Hi Road, Internet Game Technology PLC, Unicorn Ink, Eagle Providence and Club West Dance Studio.