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Los Angeles Lakers to host first LGBTQ Pride Night

Los Angeles Lakers Pride Night

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Jason Collins at their first-ever Pride Night, and former NBA referee Violet Palmer will serve as the Lakers honorary team captain for the evening. Photo: Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Jason Collins at their first-ever Pride Night, and former NBA referee Violet Palmer will serve as the Lakers honorary team captain for the evening.

The event will take place October 4 when the team plays the Sacramento Kings at the Staples Center.

The Lakers are not the first, second, third, or even fourth team in NBA to host an LGBTQ pride. They are really late on the ball with this one. Several other teams have hosted pride nights, including the Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and the Phoenix Suns.

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Even though they are different leagues, it’s worth noting that the Los Angeles Dodgers have hosted six LGBT Pride Nights. The latest one was in June, and the Dodgers hosted it with LA Pride.

JASON COLLINS

During their game, the Lakers will present the Laces of Unity Award to Collins, who became the NBA’s first openly gay active player in 2013 and has continued to work with the league as an NBA Cares Ambassador to promote acceptance and inclusion.

The Laces of Unity Award recognizes individuals in the sports community who have significantly contributed to the LGBTQ community.

VIOLET PALMER

Palmer was not only the first female referee in NBA history, but also the first referee to openly identify as gay or lesbian.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will perform the National Anthem, and the Los Angeles Gay Basketball League will participate in a pregame basketball contest.

All fans who attend the game will receive a free Pride Night shirt.

Game tickets can be purchased at www.lakers.com/tickets.

Contact the journalist: phillip.zonkel@qvoicenews.com

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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