Grey Cup-winning fullback John Rush getting vaccinated in a wedding dress to support Winnipeg’s 2SLGBTQ+ community

Photo courtesy: Kim Leduc

John Rush is saying yes to the dress, he just has to find one that fits him.

The veteran CFL fullback has decided to make his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine a charity fundraiser, starting a GoFundMe and asking fans to vote on whether he should arrive at his appointment on May 31 in a tuxedo or a wedding dress.

The results were predictable, with the six-foot-one, 227-pounder now in search of a the perfect white dress to wear on the big day.

The hassle will be for a good cause, as Rush has raised more than $5,600 for Winnipeg’s Rainbow Resource Centre — an organization that offers support services to the city’s 2SLGBT+ community.

“As a straight white male in our society, I’m afforded a significant amount of privilege, and I’m just trying to use some of that privilege to further the narrative and allow people to live their lives without having to be singled out … or feel ostracized because of what they wear,” he told CBC Radio’s Up To Speed.

“I just want people to be more accepting, more loving, because that’s the way we should live in our world, right? We should all be striving to make a society better and safer for all.”

Rush has a sizeable following on social media with almost 13,000 followers on Twitter and almost 20,000 followers on Instagram. He is a vegan and a dog lover.

The 27-year-old is no stranger to philanthropy, raising $3,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society in 2018, a cause that is near and dear to his heart.

Rush won the Presidents’ Trophy with the Guelph Gryphons in 2015 as the top defensive player in U Sports, but went unselected in the CFL Draft. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as an undrafted free agent, converting from linebacker to fullback.

Now a free agent, Rush spent four seasons with the team, recording 14 total tackles in 49 games as a valuable special teamer. He was a member of the Bombers Grey Cup championship team in 2019, later saving the 112-year-old trophy from a hotel fire in Kenora.