Hot List 2012: Hudson Taylor

5.30.2012

By Angela Kelley

The one-time college wrestler is on a mission to redefine sports.

Photography by Kristiina Wilson

“This is a really exciting time for all of us in sports,” says the wrestler-turned-activist Hudson Taylor, whose organization, Athlete Ally, encourages high school and college athletes and coaches to pledge to fight homophobia. “We saw more athletes come out, allies speak out, and teams take a stand than at any other time in history.”

With over 5,000 people having signed their pledge, Athlete Ally has led the way in empowering athletes to use their voice for change. “The question is: How can I help an athlete who may feel like they’re an ally, who may want to do something, take that next step?” he says. “I’m happy to say there are a lot of athletes who have.”

As for the upcoming Olympic games, Taylor concedes that it may still be a while before we see high-profile out athletes competing under the U.S. flag. “We’re trying to redefine what it means to be an athlete,” he says. “And I think the purest form of athletics not only allows it, but requires it.”

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