The LA Lakers celebrated Gay Pride with its first ever Pride Night.
We shared with you late last month that the Los Angeles Lakers would be holding their first Pride Night on October 4th, and now we’re happy to share with you that the event went wonderfully.
In attendance for the event were representatives of the Trevor Project of Los Angeles, the LGBT Center of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Gay Basketball League.
In addition, Jason Collins, former NBA player and the first openly gay professional male athlete in America while still playing in a major league, was honored after the first quarter when he was given the Lace of Unity Award.
“Being a native son of LA, I remember as a kid going to so many LA Laker games and now to see the Lakers stepping forward and supporting the LGBT community in such a visible way is awesome,” Collins told the Los Angeles Blade.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles also participated in the event. They sang the national Anthem before the game, and were also seen cheering along with the crowd during the match.
In addition to singing, the Chorus silently joined the protests against police brutality by linking arms during their performance, showing their support for the movement started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick .
All of this comradery and celebration of diversity touched the heart of chorus member and former gymnast Daniel Brown. Brown says a younger him would have never seen this night coming.
“The journey of being out in sports has been an interesting process,” he said. ” I remember a time when you didn’t bring your whole self to your sport, so the fact that the Lakers are doing something for and reaching out to the LGBT community is an amazing thing. To be honest, I don’t know that I would’ve thought that would be where sports went when I was a young man.”