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Patriots become first NFL team to sponsor LGBT flag football championship

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New England will support this year’s Gay Bowl.

The New England Patriots are the NFL’s model franchise. The most successful team of the salary cap era, they naturally have been trendsetters other clubs across the league are trying to emulate. Maybe that will also be the case when it comes to yesterday’s news, about the team sponsoring Gay Bowl XVII.

As confirmed by Outsports, the Patriots will become the first NFL team to endorse the annual event, which will take place in Boston this year. The Gay Bowl was founded in 2002 and is the national championship for LGBT flag football teams. About 40 teams are expected to participate in the four day event, which starts October 5th.

The Patriots' sponsoring the Gay Bowl is no surprise. After all, the reigning world champions have long supported the LGBT community.

When the Gay Bowl first took place in Boston in 2003, New England franchise great and executive director of community affairs Andre Tippett was a special guest and performed the tournament's ceremonial coin toss. The Patriots also wrote an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in 2015.