Like so many LGBT people this week, Milwaukee Bucks sales associate Nick Cottrell reflected on his journey during National Coming Out Day.
Working with his team, he crafted a wonderful coming-out message on LinkedIn that also served to raise awareness for a project he started and is incredibly proud of: the Bucks’ first Pride Night, which will be held Jan. 28 against the Boston Celtics. It’s the same night as a youth-jersey giveaway, which sends a powerful, positive message of inclusion to youth and families.
Cottrell waxed poetic on LinkedIn about the acceptance he has found in the world of sports, despite hearing for so many years lies about how homophobic and anti-gay sports are.
What’s incredible about the world of sports is the notion that it doesn’t matter your sexual orientation, your race or ethnicity, your income, your level of education or any other sub-category because for the moments you’re there to support the men and women who don your city’s colors like super heroes, you’re part of a greater system. Some of those men and women fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum and they’ve been my idols (in fact Robbie Rogers sent me a signed LA Galaxy Pride scarf for simply supporting him and their first Pride Night online).
The Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA, and most importantly the friends who have become my support here in this city accept me for who I am, they challenge me and push me to be my best, they pick me up when I’m down and they help me correct mistakes for the next day because they’re great accepting and loving people.
It’s wonderful to see Cottrell contributing his story so other LGBT pro-sports executives know they have someone they can reach out to if they need help. Cottrell is only the second NBA team employee we know of to come out publicly, following Golden State Warriors president and COO Rick Welts.