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Gay Athletes Celebrate Unity At 2nd Flag Football Championship

By Joel Hillan

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) - Flag football teams from across North America were in Denver this weekend for the annual Gay Bowl. This is the second time the National Gay Flag Football Championship game has been played in Denver.

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(credit: CBS)

"Every game, everyone brings it," said Denver's Summit White Team C Division Play Caller Greg Wilson, "Deep passes, pulling flags, it is a high level of play at this tournament."

Some 1,000 players representing 57 teams from 22 cities competed in the tournament at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

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"It's kind of fun to come together every year, see them, play hard. Yeah, it's all about community I think," said Mile High Club White Team Captain Becky Lee.

Denver fielded the first women's team in 2012. The Denver women have been a dominate force in the league since.

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"I don't think it feels as isolating in this city. Especially the men and women, we are very good about hanging out together. It feels very coed more so than other cities," said Lee.

Wilson agrees and hopes other cities can take cues from Denver's LGBTQ community.

"I hope they see how the gay and lesbian communities interact and how close we are and how much we play together, and I hope they take those experiences and bring them back to their cities and emulate what we do here," said Wilson.

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Wilson ran cross country and track in high school and college. He came into the league with no previous football experience. The engineer from a small Texas city called playing in the league a transformational experience for him.

"I would not be the person that I am today, as comfortable as I am as a gay man, without the community that I met through the League. So the more people we can get, the more cities that we can get involved is better for everyone," he said.

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CBS4's Joel Hillan interviews Becky Lee. (credit: CBS)

Becky Lee is not only a player, but was the first female commissioner of any league. She was inducted into the national Gay Flag Football League Hall of Fame in a ceremony.

Straight athletes are also welcome to play in the league. For more information on how to be a part of the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League you can visit

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.


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