- June 24, 2014
Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern
Going along with the spirit of June’s LGBT Pride Month, the WNBA has announced its Pride campaign and televised the first ever Pride Game last Sunday.
The game between the Tulsa Shock and Chicago Sky was the first time the WNBA has ever addressed LGBT issues during a televised game. LGBT fans and players of the WNBA has become a hot topic since Brittney Griner came out last year after being drafted to the Phoenix Mercury. Athletes in other major league sports have recently come out as well, including Robbie Rogers in the MLS and Michael Sam in the NFL, and have voiced their support for LGBT individuals in sports.
According to NPR, the WNBA has long skirted the topic of LGBT fans and players, but has now decided to embrace the LGBT community with its Pride Campaign. It also comes as a tactical business decision – WNBA Pride is sponsored by CoverGirl and will bring revenue to the league.
With such high-profile athletes coming out, the possibilities for combatting homophobia and providing role models in sports are incredibly promising. Sports have long been a place of tension for the LGBT community, but with WNBA Pride and these out athletes, major league sports are looking to become a much more inclusive space for LGBT athletes and fans. HRC commends the WNBA for its Pride campaign and for making steps toward greater LGBT inclusion.