The NBA has always been, by far, the most progressive of the four major professional sports, and on Sunday in New York City, the league made history when commissioner Adam Silver, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, and other league personnel showed their solidarity with the LGBTQ community and marched in the annual Pride Parade.
Even before Silver’s tenure, the NBA had made tremendous strides in terms of inclusivity, and Silver himself has cracked down hard on any instances of intolerance, most recently Rajon Rondo’s homophobic diatribe directed at referee Bill Kennedy – who came out publicly soon after – last fall. Rondo was subsequently suspended one game without pay.
Silver wore a t-shirt with the hashtag #OrlandoUnited in the wake of the horrific shooting at a gay nightclub in southern Florida that killed nearly 50 people, making it the worst such mass shooting in American history. And it wasn’t just league employees who expressed their support today. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant – who is set to become the biggest free agent of the past half-decade next week – posted this inspirational message to his Facebook page today.
The league has really come a long way when a high-profile player such as Durant has no qualms about showing his support. We can only hope more players will follow in his footsteps.