The Chicago Bulls held their first LGBTQ Pride Night on Saturday against the Miami Heat, featuring Benny the Bull in a rainbow headband, a reception for 200 people from the Center on Halsted and a same-sex couple on the Kiss Cam.
The highlight for me was Bulls center Robin Lopez wearing a Bulls rainbow Pride shirt and addressing the crowd pregame.
The team did not have a full transcript but a team spokeswoman said Lopez “welcomed fans to our first Pride Night, said he and his teammates were proud to be part of it and encouraged fans to promote diversity, acceptance and equality both in and outside the arena.”
While Pride games are common for many pro sports teams, we seldom hear from players themselves about the event, so to have Lopez speak about being proud of being a part of it was really cool. There are no openly gay NBA players.
“We are proud to be part of the NBA, a league that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and at the Bulls we aim to promote a culture of acceptance for who you are,” said Michael Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls President and Chief Operating Officer.
“Tonight creates an opportunity for the team and our fans to celebrate and embrace diversity, inclusion and acceptance alongside members and allies of the LGBTQ community here in Chicago.”
The Bulls have been part of Chicago’s Pride parade since 2013, so it’s nice that they decided to join the ranks of teams celebrating the LGBTQ community at a game.
Check out the Kiss Cam, which featured one same-sex couple: