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