Athlete Ally Pledge

Thirty-six athletes from Torrey Pines High School recently became the first high school students to sign the Athlete Ally Pledge, which has already been signed by various colleges and professional sports teams. The pledge was created by three-time NCAA All-American wrestler Hudson Taylor who is the founder of Athlete Ally, an organization that fights LGBT discrimination. Hudson pledged, “To lead my athletic community to respect and welcome all persons, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Beginning right now, I will do my part to promote the best of athletics by making all players feel respected on and off the field.”

TPHS student Milena Chakreverti-Wuerthwein discovered that the Padres would be signing the pledge and reached out to Hudson Taylor to invite him to speak with her peers while he was in town. On the day before the Padres were set to sign the pledge, Hudson talked to about 500 TPHS students about the importance of supporting and respecting their peers. “Although it was an athletics-sponsored event, I felt his message was important to our entire student body,” explained TPHS Athletic Director Charlenne Falcis-Stevens.

The day after Hudson spoke at their school, TPHS athletes from the football, track and field, lacrosse, basketball, and field hockey teams went to Petco Park to line the bases and sign the Athlete Ally pledge alongside the San Diego Padres. On the importance of this event, Charlenne commented, “It is significant because it shows that our athletes care about the issue and are willing to become athlete allies and be respectful and supportive of their teammates.”