"The idea is that we're creating an event that someday could be awesome to have an event where the basketball team gets rainbow jerseys." explained UVM track senior and Student-Athlete Advisory Council President Tyler Parent. "The whole thing is going to be almost a big gay pride event but just acknowledging that LGBTQA athletes have a place in sports and that they do not need to be embarrassed or afraid to be open about themselves."
The initiative began with UVM's Generation Out Athlete Team (G.O.A.T.) looking for a way to make a statement and then snowballed into a league-wide event.
"Originally, we wanted to do rainbow shoelaces that we would hand out to just our team but when we started talking to America East they were excited about it." said Parent. "So it was perfect timing because they're providing us with the bibs that already have the rainbow ribbons on them so everybody is going to be able to participate."
The competitor bibs have the rainbow ribbons pre-printed on them so every athlete must wear one.
"If some people are not comfortable with that the excitement that I have for that is it's going to provoke conversation that may not have happened and that's, in some cases, the most important thing you can do with issues like this." Parent said.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.