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Major US sports leagues and celebs to go purple in show of support for LGBT youth

This week's Spirit Day to combat bullying getting unprecedented support

Just two years after the first Spirit Day took place, unprecedented support from the worlds of sports and entertainment is shaping up for the day to 'go purple' as a statement against LGBT bullying.

Observance of the day is on Friday (19 October) and participating will be the National Basketball Association (NBA) / Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and NASCAR's diversity program.

More than 100 celebrities have also pledged support including Ricky Martin, George Takei, Chely Wright, Andy Cohen, Cyndi Lauper, Cheyenne Jackson, Kathy Griffin, Bernadette Peters, Margaret Cho, Chaz Bono, Fran Drescher, Kathy Griffin and Judith Light, among others.

In addition, Viacom will turn its on-air logos purple with its MTV turning its high-definition screen in Times Square purple for the day. Comcast and NBCUniversal and The Sundance Channel will also participate.

Among the landmarks that will go purple: The 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign' and several hotels on the Las Vegas strip, the Duke Energy Tower in Charlotte, the New York Stock Exchange, Thomson Reuters’ Times Square screen, the LAX Pylon Lights and the JFK traffic tower.

'From sports leagues to faith institutions to national monuments, schools and celebrities, millions of Americans will unite this week in an extraordinary show of support for LGBT youth and in a stand against bullying,' said Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation which is spearheading the day. 'At a time when 8 out of 10 LGBT youth report being harassed at school, it’s now more important than ever that we let every young person know that it’s okay to be who you are.'

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