The Toronto Raptors are the first NBA team to host a major LGBTQ initiative. Tonight, versus the Detroit Pistons at the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors partnered with the organization You Can Play to support their LGBTQ fans. According to Uproxx, the organization is committed to ensuring respect, safety and equality for all people in sports.
You Can Play was started by the son of NHL executive Brian Burke and built awareness in hockey at the grassroots level which eventually spread to the NHL. The Raptors have followed suit and hopefully, they’ll start a movement within the NBA.
Raptors team President Masai Ujiri likes the message of inclusion and hopes this historic moment is the first of many. In a team statement, he said:
As an organization, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment prides itself on the values of diversity, equality and inclusion and we look forward to being a part of history, together with our passionate fans and the city of Toronto.