“Not long ago, athletes like Olympians Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy might have waited until retirement to come out as gay.Big companies were reticent to sponsor LGBTQ athletes, and athletes were hesitant to come out publicly for fear of being stigmatized and losing out on big money.
But that’s changing.
Diversity now adds to a star’s marketability as companies strive to tell compelling stories with their advertising. Rippon and Kenworthy are the first openly gay U.S. Winter Olympians. Both have grabbed headlines and positive attention at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for being out.