Sunday’s nationally televised WNBA game between the Tulsa Shock and Chicago Sky was more than just two teams playing basketball. It was billed as the league’s first national Pride Game, and it is part of a bigger initiative by the WNBA to embrace the LGBT community.
For the first time in its 18 years of existence, the league addressed the issue of equality and tolerance during a televised game.
“We’re the pioneers. We’re showing our league is strong and we’re branching out into different communities. We need more LGBT role models,” says WNBA player Brittney Griner.
League president Laurel Richie says some players who are open and active in the gay community will be a big part of WNBA Pride — “whether that’s telling their story or doing some outreach or doing PSAs with some of the organizations that look to put an end to bullying.”