LEXINGTON, Ky. — A new sports league is coming to Lexington this fall. HotMess Sports provides a safe and inclusive space for people in the LGBTQ+ community.

What You Need To Know

  • HotMess Sports is an LGBTQ-inclusive sports league

  • Hot Mess Sports is expanding to Lexington and Birmingham, Alabama this fall

  • Grant Cobb and Jaron Byrum serve as leadership of the league

  • League offers kickball, volleyball, corn hole, dodgeball, tennis and flag football

A game of open kickball at Jacobson Park in Lexington was filled with music and plenty of inclusivity. It's all possible because a former Lexington resident saw a need to change the trajectory of sports. Now, Grant Cobb serves as the co-president of HotMess Sports.

HotMess Sports league kickball participants await for next play of the game. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

“Growing up for a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community can be very difficult and very hard,” Cobb said.

Queer Kentucky reports people in the LGBTQ+ community are not always excited or invited to play sports in "traditional spaces," and many have trauma involving sports including bullying or teasing.

“Our goal is to provide a space where everyone feels welcome, feels a part of when they come and play or participate in a HotMess Sports," Cobb said. "You can be you, you can be your authentic self, we all love that. That is exactly what we want."

Cobb graduated the University of Kentucky and moved to Nashville, where he joined a HotMess Sports league – participating in the games made him realize he wanted to be a part of something bigger. As a co-president of the league he is dedicated to advancing to a more inclusive world with new city expansions of HotMess Sports.

“This is extremely special to me because I have met all of my closest friends through playing HotMess Sports. It is something very special for me, I hope to create that same atmosphere and do the same exact thing for so many other people,” Cobb said.

The person joining forces with Cobb is Ethan Fultz; together, they're making sports inclusive, one kickball game at a time. 

“The LGBTQ+ community can feel more welcomed, open here and not afraid to be who they are while playing sports. You can be fully open and still a part of a sports league, it is just so much happier and healthier,” Fultz said.

Expanding HotMess Sports to Lexington is full circle moment for Cobb and his entire team.

“I wanted to expand it and bring it back home, so for me this is a homecoming. It is so good to be back in Lexington and be back in Kentucky,” said Cobb.

HotMess Sports is hoping to expand beyond the seven cities they're currently in, which are Atlanta, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville, Memphis, and Nashville.

Interested players can visit HotMess Sports' Instagram and Facebook pages.