Denver Nuggets star Kenneth Faried has become the first NBA player to join an organization devoted to fighting homophobia in sports, and said he hopes his involvement will raise awareness of gay rights in professional basketball. Equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is close to the heart of Faried, nicknamed the "Manimal" for his fierceness on the court. The 23-year-old forward was raised in New Jersey by two mothers, who married in 2007. Faried recently appeared with his mothers in a video for the advocacy group OneColorado, to encourage Colorado to legalize civil unions. "Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country," said Faried in a statement to The Huffington Post, referring to the non-profit group that advocates for gay rights in sports. "I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community -- whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans -- to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities."