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OutLoud Sports Athlete Showcase: Torhon Barnes on getting involved with OutLoud Sports' flag football league, the Rams' allyship via supporting the league and more

As part of the Rams' ongoing efforts to celebrate Pride Month, will be showcasing athletes from OutLoud Sports, the nation's original LGBTQAI+ and Allies recreational sports league which was founded in 2007. Since 2022, the Rams have partnered with OutLoud on two flag leagues to expand the impact of football in Los Angeles.

Up next is Torhon Barnes, Senior League Manager for OutLoud Sports' Flag Football League.

TB - 16x9 OutLoud Showcase

Torhon Barnes has been involved with OutLoud Sports for many years as a kickball player and discovered that league through a very good friend.

Still, it was only a matter of time before he got involved in the organizations' flag football league.

"I was waiting for the opportunity to support any efforts to add the sport to the OutLoud catalog and I am honored to serve as the inaugural League Manager," Barnes said.

Barnes has been involved with the flag football league since its first since in the spring of 2023. He said the best part about the league is that it is "for EVERYONE."

"Literally all skill levels and backgrounds are welcome," he said. "We pride ourselves on making such a technical and competitive sport accessible to all athletes!"

According to Barnes, the Rams' support of OutLoud Sports' flag football league is invaluable on numerous levels, from promoting inclusivity and equal treatment of all athletes to the equipment itself.

"Having a local NFL team support our queer recreational sports league promotes inclusivity and helps create a more accepting and unified sports community," Barnes said. "The Rams allyship also shows that all athletes deserve to be treated with respect and equality, regardless of their sexual orientation. And last but certainly not least, the high-quality jerseys, equipment and swag are icing on the cake!"

What inspires Barnes to live his life authentically is seeing his community – LGBTQIA+ community – living in their truth.

"Against all adversity, everyday I witness young, old and everyone in between living their lives OUT and PROUD which inspires me to be true to myself," he said. "It's a lifelong journey and I hope I am also encouraging others to do the same."

As for how others can be better allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, Barnes suggested avenues of education and activism.

"Anyone can be an ally and supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community by educating themselves on our issues through joining our league (*wink) or attending an LGBTQIA+ event," Barnes said. "I would also encourage others to use inclusive language and speak out against discrimination and prejudice of any kind."

In terms of celebrating Pride Month, Barnes said the month is "a great time to acknowledge the identity, history and accomplishments of the LGBTQIA+ community and all are encouraged and welcome to celebrate!"

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