MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis hosted the first-ever NFL-sponsored Inclusion Party.
Former Vikings player Esera Tuaolo is building bridges between his family in the National Football League and the LGBTQ community.
“I played in the NFL nine years and ever since I came out in 2002, I’ve always wanted to do something like this on this platform – the mega Super Bowl,” said Tuaolo. “To have the opportunity and the support of the NFL and also have Adidas sponsoring this has been an incredible, incredible thing.”
Tuaolo not only hosted the Super Bowl Inclusion Party, but he also performed at the event. The party was the first NFL-sponsored event reaching out the LGBTQ community during the Super Bowl.
At the event, Tuaolo was joined by other former and current NFL players and his fellow team mates on Team Blake from "The Voice" when he was a contestant on the show.
“This is my first time in Minnesota,” said Mitchell Lee of The Voice. “I’m from South Carolina, so I’m not used to this type of cold, but the city is beautiful, the people have been amazing, so my first experience has been so good so far.”
“I was just a little kid when we [Minnesota] had it [the Super Bowl] back in ’91 and so this is a really unique experience,” said former Vikings player Ryan Hoag. “It’s fun, I went to Radio Row and got to run into about ten former team mates and talk to them, who I probably haven’t seen since my playing days, which was a lot of fun. It’s a special, special thing.”
Tuaolo and several other singers from the "The Voice" performed at the Inclusion Party. Tuaolo was the last performer to take the stage, singing about his experiences in the NFL and his life after leaving the league.