NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and league employees participated in New York’s Pride Parade on Sunday, making the NBA and WNBA the first professional sports leagues to do so. Former NBA player Jason Collins, who became the first active male athlete in a major pro sport to come out when he did so in 2013, also took part in the annual event, which celebrates the LGBT community.
Silver and Tatum were among those who wore shirts expressing support for the victims of a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Others wore shirts with NBA team logos set in a rainbow color scheme; Collins’s bore the logo of the Brooklyn Nets, with whom he spent over six seasons when they were located in New Jersey.
Collins was accompanied by former WNBA player Sue Wicks, who announced she was a lesbian in 2002, while a member of the New York Liberty. WNBA president Lisa Borders also marched in the parade.
Earlier in June, Silver said that the NBA needed to reconsider holding its All-Star Weekend, as scheduled, in Charlotte in 2017. His comments came in reaction to North Carolina passing a bill that overturned prior protections for gay and transgender people.