The NBA was well-represented at Sunday’s New York LGBT Pride Parade, with a float that carried its commissioner, and an openly gay referee, executive and ex-player. The event also had the endorsement of one of it’s biggest stars, Kevin Durant of the champion Golden State Warriors.
Rick Welts is the Golden State Warriors president and openly gay. He was on the NBA pride float with his partner, Todd Gage.
A day with Adam Silver, Bill Kennedy and Rick Welts (among others) aboard the NBA's float at the NYC Pride March: https://t.co/u2k2n5tnwc— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) June 26, 2017
The float also included league Commissioner Adam Silver, openly gay referee Bill Kennedy and Jason Collins, a former player who came out in 2013. Collins is the only openly gay player in the four major male U.S. team sports — NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL — to ever play while active.
“It was an exhilarating thing to be able to know that the people that I work for and the company that I work for are as open and inclusive as they are,” Kennedy told the New York Times. “For me personally, it was a long time coming. So to be able to share and be out and be open and not worry about where you go or who you’re talking to — just drop the baggage, let it go and be you. That’s what this is about: Just be you.”
The NBA — which also owns the WNBA — was the only major sports league to have a pride float, which is admirable. It also is selling a line of pride-themed T-shirts.
On the other hand, the league decided to go back to North Carolina for the 2019 All-Star Game, accepting the fig-lead bill passed to repeal the anti-LGBT HB2 that is opposed by every LGBT right group. Progress comes in fits and starts.