NBA Adds Sexual Orientation Protections


The National Basketball Association (NBA) has added player protections based on sexual orientation to its new collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was signed by the players’ union and ratified Thursday by the NBA’s board of governors.

According to a quote attributed to Michael Bass, NBA Senior Vice President, of Marketing Communications:

Non-discrimination language was added into the agreement that protects players from discrimination, including based on sexual orientation.

This move has been greeted warmly by the Human Rights Campaign:

“The NBA now joins the ranks of some of the most influential organizations and corporations in the country, who all believe that equality and inclusion are integral to a successful workplace,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “We are grateful to Commissioner Stern, the NBA and the Players’ Association for sending such a powerful message to society that what matters is a person’s talent, not their sexual orientation.”

Over the last year, a number of professional athletes have worked with HRC to promote LGBT equality in America. Most recently, NBA great Steve Nash, Sean Avery of the NHL, and the NFL’s Michael Strahan, Brendan Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita all participated in video ads speaking out in favor of marriage equality.

It should be noted that the extra wording is sexual orientation specific and so does not cover gender identity or expression.

This move sees the NBA join the NFL, Major League Baseball and a handful of other major sporting leagues that have already added sexual orientation protections.

The push for sexual orientation-inclusive non-discrimination language has largely been attributed to advocacy group Resource Center Dallas and specifically Rafael McDonnell whose letter writing campaign has brought attention to the need for this change.

Related Reading:

Seattle Sports Teams Unite for It Gets Better Video

San Francisco Giants to LGBT Teens: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

Noah Calls $50,000 Fine for Gay Slur “Fair”

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Dinur.


Chad A.
Chad Anderson6 years ago

Not a basketball fan, but this is encouraging and makes me more likely to give the sport another look.

John Mansky
John Mansky6 years ago

Thank you for the article...

Lloyd H6 years ago

Just how long before the hate group American Family Association sicks their attack dog front groups One Million Moms or One Million Dads on all the sponsors for the NBA.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

A step in the right direction...

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for sharing

William K.
William K6 years ago

great news.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

good :)

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Good to hear. Thanks Steve.