The WNBA has announced a national LGBT Pride platform, making them the first professional sports league to do so. The league’s 12 teams will integrate marketing, media, grassroots efforts, and social responsibility into the program which is sponsored by CoverGirl. It hopes to not only embrace members of the LGBT community, who have been longtime supporters of the league, but also combat anti-LGBT bias in sports.
WNBA President Laurel J. Richie had this to say about the announcement:
“The WNBA has a very proud history of welcoming all fans, athletes, and partners to our game. These beliefs unite the 12 teams of the WNBA and we are very excited to introduce the WNBA Pride platform which celebrates acceptance and values inclusion.”
Though individual teams and players have taken it amongst themselves in the past to reach out and embrace the LGBT community, this year’s initiative is unifying in the way those have not been. Phoenix Mercury Center, Brittney Griner, is impressed with the leagues efforts. “I’m proud to be a part of the WNBA and NBA family that has chosen to embrace the LGBT community, not just for the out athletes like me, but also the allies and fans who love them.”
The WNBA will celebrate Pride during a live telecast on June 22nd on ESPN2 when the Tulsa Shock play the Chicago Sky. Until then, you can keep up with all of the league and team Pride news, content, and events on the official WNBA Pride website.
June would be a great time to get out to a game to see the teams wearing commemorative Pride shooting shirts and if you can’t make it to one of those, take part on social media by using the official hashtag, #wnbapride. You could also scoop up a WNBA Pride t-shirt to show your support and benefit GLSEN. The WNBA isn’t tiptoeing around this initiative, they’re going all in. Let’s show every other league the good things can happen when you start supporting ALL of your players and fans.