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Padres Pledge Support for LGBT Student Athletes

The Padres are pioneers in pledging to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student athletes. As part of the “Team Respect Challenge” campaign, the Padres will promote an inclusive environment among San Diego school teams regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Padres spokeswoman Sue Botos hopes the baseball team will serve as a role model.

“We signed this challenge so the (San Diego) Unified School District can use the Padres as an example for other schools and other teams to show that this is the proper way to act, and the proper way to treat your teammates and your fans,” Botos said.

Program director Pat Griffin said the program’s ultimate goal is to promote mutual respect.

“It’s a way for all students, regardless of how they identify themselves, to say in a very concrete way, we want to have a school that’s safe and respectful for everybody,” Griffin said.

The Padres are the first professional team to sign the “Team Respect Challenge.” The campaign is a program of the nonprofit GLSEN, which stands for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

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