By Glennisha Morgan
Yesterday, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) launched a historic and groundbreaking Pride initiative, WNBA Pride, making it the first professional sports league to initiate an integrated marketing, media, grassroots and social responsibility program. The national platform, which is presented by COVERGIRL, celebrates inclusion and equality, while combating homophobia and transphobia.
“The WNBA welcomes all fans, athletes, and partners to our game,” said WNBA President Laurel J.Richie. “These beliefs unite the 12 teams of the WNBA and we are very excited to introduce the WNBA Pride platform which celebrates acceptance and inclusion. The WNBA takes great pride in working with extraordinary partners who share these values, and we are so grateful to our presenting partner COVERGIRL along with ESPN, GLSEN and GLAAD for joining the WNBA on this important initiative.”
Throughout the month of June, the league will hold Pride-themed games where the players can be found wearing commemorative Pride shooting shirts designed by Adidas, the league’s official oncourt uniform and apparel provider. Fans can also purchase the exclusive t-shirts from the online WNBA store and at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. GLSEN, a long-time WNBA partner will benefit from the proceeds.
This initiative will also make the WNBA the first professional sports league to celebrate LGBT pride on national television during the Tulsa Shock vs. Chicago Sky game on Sunday, June 22 at 1p.m. ET on ESPN2.
“Every day in the news we see that inclusion is the new standard for our society, and every day we see more and more people reject prejudice and anything that would divide us,” said Phoenix Mercury Center Brittney Griner. “I’m proud to be a part of the WNBA and NBA family that has chosen to embrace the LGBT community, not just for the out athletes like me, but also the allies and fans who love them.”
View the list of team pride games below.
Glennisha Morgan serves as ELIXHER’s Entertainment Editor. She is the founder of The Fembassy (a blog that is solely dedicated to women MCs), a multimedia journalist, photographer and filmmaker. During her career she has interviewed people like Russell Simmons, La La Anthony, MC Lyte, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Laverne Cox, and Marsha Ambrosius. In 2010, Glennisha was featured in BET’s first original music documentary, ‘My Mic Sounds Nice.’