The Toronto Gay Football League is “open to the Ls, the Gs, the Bs, the Ts—and the As,” said the league’s assistant commissioner, James Scott, just before its season-ending championship game on Sunday evening at the Cherry Beach Sports Field.
The “A,” Scott explained, stands for “allies”—mostly straight supporters. And though they only comprise about 10 to 15 per cent of the league’s members, it’s not politics that entice non-LGBT men and women to join.
“There are just fewer jackasses in this league,” said Scott. Many players’ experience in other leagues has been too intense and competitive for their liking—and recent incidents in the big leagues have amply demonstrated that homophobia persists.
“[Escobar]’s not the first person to have done stuff like that,” said Scott, referring to the homophobic slur that Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar wrote into his eyeblack last month, sparking anew the controversy over the sometimes less-than progressive world of pro sports. “We’re kind of used to it.”
At Sunday night’s TGFL championship game, the emphasis was on fun instead of fundamentals—but there was still some decent athleticism on display. The Blake House Brawlers and the Pegasus Stallions (all TGFL teams are sponsored by bars and restaurants in the Church-Wellesley Village) see-sawed over control of the ball in the first half. The Stallions dominated in the second, walking away with the championship and a final score of 20 to 6. Stallions quarterback Daniel Engel was named game MVP.