The Super Bowl is coming to Miami Feb. 2, and if you aren’t actually going to the game, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed just the same with pregame and game day options.
There are events across Miami (of course) and other South Florida venues that appeal to just about every taste and pocketbook.
But there’s one you may not have heard of – “Esera Tuaolo's Inclusion Party” on Jan. 29 at Fort Lauderdale’s Revolution Live.
Tuaolo is a former NFL player who was a defensive tackle in the league for 10 years. He played for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings.
Tuaolo played his last season in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers in 1999.
Born and raised in Hawaii, he’s called Minneapolis his home for many years.
In 1998, he was part of the NFC Championship with the Falcons before going on to lose at the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos. During the game, Tuaolo recorded the last tackle of hall of fame quarterback John Elway.
That Super Bowl was in Miami. He’s been to 14 more as a former player and fan.
Tuaolo is also a talented musician and singer – he competed on NBC’s “The Voice” TV show in 2017.
Get ready to party
Tuaolo publicly announced that he is gay in 2002 on HBO's “Real Sports” TV series.
It made him just the third former NFL player to come out at the time. Since then, he’s been an advocate and activist for LGBT causes.
About three years ago Tuaolo founded the Inclusion Party. He felt like the LGBT community wasn’t adequately represented by the NFL or at the Super Bowl, including at all the pre-event parties and festivities.
“I wanted to have a party where everyone was welcome, make it affordable and give the LGBTQ community that Super Bowl experience,” Tuaolo said.
He also wanted an event that educated people on anti-bullying programs. Proceeds from the Inclusion Party will go toward such organizations.
“We love giving back to the community. Past NFL players show up. Celebrities show up,” he said.
Tuaolo said the event has three main objectives: eliminate biases and help bring the NFL and the LGBTQ communities closer together; support the idea that inclusion comes from changing the whole NFL environment, not just relying on gay or bisexual players to do all the work; and cultivate a hate-free zone on which LGBT athletes can rely, whether closeted or open with their sexuality.
The nonprofit Hate Is Wrong is the owner and producer of the Inclusion Party. Tuaolo is its executive director.
The night includes a lineup of DJs – Lady Bunny, Tracy Young, Alex Ramos and more – and other talent.
Tuaolo will be raffling off a pair of Super Bowl tickets at the party, too.
Tickets to the event can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at HateIsWrong.org.
Revolution Live is located at 100 SW 3rd Ave. The Inclusion Party is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.