The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they will host their first-ever Pride Night on October 4th. The team will be hosting the Sacramento Kings at STAPLES Center for a preseason contest.
As part of Pride Night, the Lakers will “celebrate diversity, inclusion and unity by hosting members and supporters from the LGBTQ community.” It’s the first such public act by the Lakers but the NBA as a whole has worked on the inclusion of the LGBTQ community, including through their participation in Pride parades in New York City.
The Lakers will honor two members of the NBA family on Pride Night. Former NBA referee Violet Palmer, who was the first openly gay referee in league history, will be the purple and gold’s honorary captain for the night. The Lakers will also present a “Laces of Unity” award to Jason Collins who previously became the NBA’s first openly gay active player.
The Los Angeles LGBTQ community will be especially represented as the team has invited members of the Trevor Project of Los Angeles and the LGBT Center of Los Angeles to attend the game. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will perform the national anthem.
Fans will receive a free Pride Night shirt.
The Lakers have become more vocal about social issues, going so far as to protect LeBron James from comments made by the president. This is another step in the right direction for the organization as they strive to showcase diversity and inclusion of all people. We applaud their efforts.