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NBA INCLUDES PROTECTIONS BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN NEW LABOR AGREEMENT

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League continues work with GLAAD and other LGBT orgs to eliminate homophobia on and off the court

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

December 9, 2011

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today lauded the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, signed by the players' union and ratified Thursday by the NBA's board of governors, which includes language protecting players from discrimination based on sexual orientation. (The league already has those protections in place for employees.)

“I am pleased to announce that we have concluded the collective bargaining process and have reached an agreement that addresses many significant issues that were challenges to our league,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “This collective bargaining agreement will help us move toward a better business model, a more competitive league and better alignment between compensation and performance.”

"The NBA now joins leading Fortune 500 companies and the vast majority of Americans who believe that gay people should have the same opportunities to work and live freely as who they are," said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD. "This decision shows that homophobia has no place on the court or in the game and we hope that local, college and high school teams follow this important example."

Since last year, the NBA has taken many steps to place the sport of basketball near the forefront of a changing sports landscape in terms of LGBT inclusion. GLAAD is proud to have partnered with the league on several of these steps. From significant fines (and LGBT-supportive statements) following players’ use of anti-gay epithets, to its public partnerships with GLAAD and other LGBT organizations, to the appearances of Grant Hill and Jared Dudley in an ad campaign for GLSEN, to its support of now-openly gay former Phoenix Suns CEO Rick Welts, to Shaquille O’Neal's participation in GLAAD’s anti-bullying “Amplify Your Voice” PSA campaign, the NBA and Commissioner David Stern have proven themselves to be strong allies to the LGBT community.