Global law firm leader Baker & McKenzie and Striker Sports Bar unite to power massive celebration for LGBTQ inclusion during Grey Cup Week

TORONTO – Today, the Canadian Football League (CFL) unveiled another step forward in its proud partnership with You Can Play. For the first time in CFL history, there will be an Official and League-sanctioned Grey Cup party supporting the LGBTQ community during its championship weekend.  

On Friday night of Grey Cup Weekend, the CFL and You Can Play will throw a massive celebration in downtown Toronto. The party will be powered by leading global law firm, Baker & McKenzie, and Striker Sports Bar – Canada’s first LGBTQ sports bar, which opened its doors to the public in September.

“The Grey Cup is Canada’s biggest annual party and everyone’s invited,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge, CFL Commissioner. “This event is going to be a whole lot of fun, and it’s another step we’re taking to ensure the CFL is a home for all fans. We’ve made a lot of progress on LGBTQ inclusion through our partnership with You Can Play, and we’re not done yet.”

“The CFL is leading the way in terms of being a welcoming and inclusive league, and we’re thrilled to work with them on this exciting event,” said Jillian Svensson, Vice President, Business Development & Operations, You Can Play Project. “We want to thank our great friends at Baker & McKenzie and Striker Sports Bar for coming to the table and partnering with us on this amazing opportunity.”

The gathering will be a ticketed event and will feature a special midnight visit by the Grey Cup. The event will also see game-day specialty cocktails promoting the two remaining teams in this year’s championship game, and a raffle for various door prizes with proceeds going back to You Can Play’s LGBTQ inclusion efforts across Canada.

“It’s amazing to see so many great organizations come together on yet another first for the LGBTQ community and pro sport,” said Kevin Coon, Baker & McKenzie Managing Partner. “Diversity continues to be a guiding principle for our firm and it’s great to be working with You Can Play and the CFL once again on such an important issue.”

“We opened our doors this past September and made it one of our goals to be a bridge between LGBTQ athletes and fans, and the pro-sport world. We are so proud to be doing something this big and meaningful with the CFL during the biggest annual sports party in Canada,” added Vince Silva, Striker Sports Bar co-owner.

For tickets to the first-ever You Can Play Official Grey Cup Party, please visit EventBrite.

Paulo Senra

Director, Communications, Canadian Football League

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