From Protest to Progress: Honoring the Black Roots of Pride

At NIKE, Inc. we are committed to advancing equality and breaking down barriers for athletes* all over the world. Humanity can’t achieve its full potential Until We All Win.


Which is why this year, to celebrate Pride Month, we’re honoring the strength, creativity and Black roots of Pride. As we march together toward a more equal and just future, it’s important to remember our past. Let’s not forget that the Pride movement itself began as a protest. The historic Stonewall uprisings in 1969 played a key role in liberating the LGBTQIA+ community and allowing their demands for equality to be heard — and a number of the heroes who catalyzed this movement were transgender people of color, namely Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

The Unstoppable Pursuit of Equality

June is typically a month filled with advocacy, parades and other celebratory activities for LGBTQIA+ community and allies around the world. But Pride looks a little different this year. People everywhere are coming together to raise their voices against systemic racism and advocate for equality.


Among these voices are the six Nike LGBTQIA+ athletes, advocates and role models who are featured in this year’s BeTrue campaign: Schuyler Bailar, Erica Bougard, Tierna Davidson, Adrianna “A.D.” Franch, Napoleon Jinnies and Quintin Peron. These leaders embody what it means to strive for a better future — for themselves, for each another and for the next generation.

“What I fight for is that my existence will no longer be political at some point. My being a trans athlete will no longer be a political statement. Being a trans athlete to me is about my passion for sport, and it’s about not letting anything hold me back — not other people, not injuries, not rules and definitely not my identity.” –  Schuyler Bailar, The First Openly Transgender NCAA Division 1 Athlete


“[I keep] going back to advice for the younger [generation]. Don’t try to make other people comfortable. You’re not put on this earth to abide by somebody else’s rules.” – Quintin Peron, One of the First Two Male Cheerleaders in the NFL


“It is of the utmost importance to use our platform, to push key ideas, opinions and issues across to the population that we have the ability to reach.” – Tierna Davidson, The Youngest 2019 Women’s World Cup Champion


“Teams should always allow individuals to shine in their strengths and be supported.” – Adrianna “A.D.” Franch, NWSL and Women’s World Cup Champion Goalkeeper


Together, our message is clear: being on our team means we’re in this together. Prevailing through obstacles. Creating change despite adversity. Reclaiming our spaces. Leading by example, for the next generation. Ensuring a future where we can ALL BeTrue.

Advocating for — and Advancing — the LGBTQIA+ Community

This year’s BeTrue campaign is just one way Nike is contributing to Pride and community. As part of our 2020 Pride Month celebration, we’re awarding $500,000 (through grants of $25,000 each, administered by the Charities Aid Foundation of America) to 20 organizations that are advocating for — and advancing — the LGBTQIA+ community.


To learn more about Nike’s contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month, click here.


To learn more about Nike’s commitment to equality for all, click here.