The Los Angeles Lakers will hold their first Pride Night at Thursday evening’s preseason game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.
The Lakers will celebrate diversity, inclusion and unity by hosting members and supporters from the LGBTQ community. Pride Night will include special in-game entertainment and giveaways. All fans in attendance will receive a free Pride Night shirt.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will perform the national anthem. Players from Lambda Basketball, which organizes basketball competitions for the LGBT community and its friends, will participate in a pregame basketball contest.
Former NBA referee Violet Palmer, the first openly gay referee in NBA history, will serve as the Lakers honorary team captain.
Retired NBA player Jason Collins will receive the “Laces of Unity” award from the Lakers during the game. Collins became the NBA’s first openly gay active player in 2013.
Collins has continued to work with the league as an NBA Cares ambassador on promoting acceptance and inclusion. The Laces of Unity Award recognizes individuals in the sports community who have significantly contributed to the LGBTQ community.