The president of the Golden State Warriors has tied the knot with his longtime boyfriend.
Rick Welts and Todd Gage were married in a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall officiated by Mayor London Breed on Friday morning, Welts announced on Twitter.
Welts and Gage said “I do” after nine years together, Welts said in his post.
“It was a good day, nine years in the making!,” Welts Tweeted.
Welts shared a photograph of the happy newlyweds ready to embrace as husband and husband. In the snapshot, the mayor stands behind them with a big smile.
— Rick Welts (@RickWelts) January 11, 2020
Welts came out publicly as gay in May 2011 in an interview with The New York Times. At the time, Welts, who was president of the Phoenix Suns, was the first prominent sports executive to publicly identify as gay.
A few months later, in September, Welts announced his resignation from the Suns and would relocate to northern California to be with Gage.
“It’s an opportunity probably for the first time for me to align my personal and professional lives,” Welts told the Associated Press.
Welts’s first partner, whom he had met in a Seattle restaurant in 1977, died in March 1994 from AIDS complications. Welts ran one obituary in a Seattle newspaper that suggested anyone who wanted to make a remembrance could write a check to the University of Washington architectural school, his partner’s major, Welts told The Atlantic. Welts was in another relationship from 1995 to 2009, but it ended because Welts required that their relationship be hidden from public view, Welts told the New York Times.
A few weeks after resigning from the Suns, Welts was hired as the president and chief operating officer of the Warriors to help turn around the team.
During his nine years with the San Francisco-based Warriors, Welts has watched the team compete in five consecutive NBA Finals and win three championships.
Welts began his NBA career as a ball boy for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1967. He worked for 17 years in the NBA front office, rising to the executive vice president and chief marketing officer.