The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Tuesday that they will hold their second annual Pride Night when they take on the Golden State Warriors in the preseason on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The team says that the night “will celebrate diversity, inclusion and unity by hosting members and supporters from the LGBTQ community.”
In the same press release, the Lakers revealed further details about the event.
Friends and prominent members of the LGBTQ community will be in attendance to celebrate the evening including fans from the Trevor Project and the LGBT Center of Los Angeles. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will perform the National Anthem and LAMBDA (Los Angeles Gay Basketball League) will also be in attendance.
During the game, the annual “Laces of Unity” Award will be presented by last year’s recipient Jason Collins, to Robbie Rogers. Rogers became the first openly gay man to compete in a top-tier North American professional sports league when he played his first match for the LA Galaxy in May 2013. The Laces of Unity Award recognizes individuals in the sports community who have significantly contributed to the LGBTQ community.
In addition, all fans in attendance will receive a Lakers Pride Night unity LED bracelet.
The Lakers aren’t the only NBA team to host a Pride Night, as a cursory Google search found that at least the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, LA Clippers and Miami Heat (and there may be others I missed) have hosted similar events.
Still, the team still deserves praise for fostering a spirit of inclusion, given that the comments and replies to any post about this night offer tons of evidence of how much more growth our society can make in terms of being accepting of one another.
Those with interest in tickets to Pride Night can buy them here, and those wishing to catalog the event on social media are encouraged by the team to use the hashtag #LAKERSPRIDENIGHT.