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Phoenix Suns host 2021’s first Pride Night in NBA

The honor of hosting 2021’s very first in-person Pride night in the NBA since the pandemic began goes to the Phoenix Suns.

Washington Wizards v Phoenix Suns
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns shoots the ball during the game against the Washington Wizards on April 10, 2021 at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Ariz.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

There hasn’t been an in-person Pride Night at any pro sports venue in the U.S. since before the Covid-19 pandemic started closing arenas, stadiums and playing fields one year ago. But on Saturday night, April 10, 2021, the Phoenix Suns made history by welcoming LGBTQ sports fans and allies back to the Phoenix Suns Arena for the very first Pride Night in the NBA.

And the Suns capped off the historic night with a victory over the Washington Wizards, 134-to-106.

The Suns shared photos of their special Pride T-Shirts on the team’s social media, and announced Phoenix Pride’s new scholarship program in partnership with the team’s Pride Night sponsor, Paypal.

“In recognition of PayPal Pride Night, the Phoenix Pride organization would like to invite those who identify as LGBTQ+ or allies to apply to their 2021 Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program. Applications are open through May 1st 2021 at PhoenixPride.Org.

We’re still waiting to hear from most teams as they navigate the re-opening of their fields, stadiums and arenas to fans. The N.J. Devils Pride Night was held Sunday, April 11, the third one in the NHL held in the U.S. in 2021. The Tampa Bay Lightning held the first one outside Canada on March 30. The Washington Capitals were second on April 8, and the Calgary Flames hosted the NHL’s first Pride Night of 2021 last month.

One minor league baseball team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Bradenton Marauders, told Outsports they’re hosting their Pride Night at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on June 11th. The Hartford Yard Goats also plan at least one Pride Night and we look forward to sharing details when we learn them.

We’ll have more stories about Pride Night and Pride Day games coming up in Outports in the days and weeks ahead!

Our thanks to reader Darnell Calhoun of Tempe, Ariz. for tweeting to us to point out, after we first published our story about the Devils, that the Phoenix Suns beat them to the honor of hosting the first Pride Night in pro sports this year. Thanks, Darnell!

And thank you to readers Jason Veltri and Tammy Guerrero for alerting us to the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals’ Pride Nights! We regret the errors and appreciate every reader who helps us get it right... eventually.