ESPN and other Disney-linked entities have posted statements expressing support for the LGBT movement.
“ESPN believes in inclusivity and denounces legislation and actions across the United States that infringe on any human rights. We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, families, and fans,” ESPN tweeted on Tuesday. “We’ll continue to partner with organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, be accountable where we fall short of expectations, and never stop telling stories about LGBTQIA+ athletes, like the ones that we’ll be sharing in this thread.”
Some on social media took issue with ESPN’s statement.
“ESPN is no longer a sports company. They’re left wing political activists masquerading as a sports company,” Outkick founder Clay Travis tweeted.
“Miss when ESPN used to talk about sports,” GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina tweeted.
The Florida state legislature has passed a bill that will bar teaching children about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to sign the bill. Individuals on ESPN have previously expressed their opposition to the Florida legislation.
Disney owns the lion’s share of the sports-focused media giant: “ESPN … is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company,” according to ESPN.
Walt Disney World and other Disney-related entities also issued statements similar to ESPN’s.
“To ALL who come to this happy place, welcome. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is committed to creating experiences that support family values for every family, and will not stand for discrimination in any form. We oppose any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ cast, crew, guests and fans who make their voices heard today and every day,” a statement said.
Disney+ issued a statement, declaring: “Disney+ stands by our LGBTQIA+ employees, colleagues, families, storytellers, and fans, and we strongly denounce all legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of people in the LGBTQIA+ community — especially legislation that targets and harms young people and their families. We strive to create a service that reflects the world in which we live, and our hope is to be a source for inclusive, empowering, and authentic stories that unite us in our shared humanity.”