The WNBA and NBA stand up for LGBTQ youth on #SpiritDay

Today, the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association went purple to show their support for LGBTQ youth, as the world takes a stand against bullying.

As two of the official 2016 Spirit Day partners, the NBA and WNBA continue to show their ongoing support for LGBTQ youth in the fight against bullying. NBA, NBA Cares, NBA D-League, and WNBA once again stood as visible Spirit Day champions on their social media platforms. 

WNBA Twitter 

Given the climate of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that manifests in sporting environments, solidarity from major sports leagues on Spirit Day is incredibly important. Players, spectators, coaches, and officials, alike, are vulnerable to the stresses of anti-LGBTQ sentiment in sport. Tragically, unwelcoming attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity do not cease to plague the youngest members of society, and it is not uncommon for LGBTQ youth to fear rejection by teammates, discrimination from coaches, and overwhelming bullying if openly identifying as LGBTQ in a sporting space.

Why shouldn't all youth feel as though they are able to freely, safely, and genuinely participate in sports? 

Each year, millions of people "go purple" for Spirit Day in a united stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth. The NBA highlighted Spirit Day participation by the Detroit Pistons- just one of the many NBA teams that chose to go purple for LGBTQ youth.

The WNBA promoted Spirit Day by retweeting messages of support from NBA/WNBA affiliates and teams, including the Seattle Storm.

According to a 2015 GLSEN survey, more than half of LGBTQ students report being victimized based on sexual orientation, with a further three quarters of students who report hearing anti-LGBTQ remarks in school. Started in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan, Spirit Day now draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals around the world, who join together in a united stand against bullying.

Check out glaad.org/spiritday for more about how to stand against bullying and show support for LGBTQ youth. Also follow @GLAAD on Twitter to keep up to date with #spiritday news.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting partners Target and Wells Fargo, official partners, NBA and WNBA, NFL, Viacom, and WWE, and supporting partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal, Kellogg’s, Kirkland & Ellis, Toyota Financial Services, and Zipcar. The translation of GLAAD’s Spirit Day Resource Kit into multiple languages is made possible by a generous grant from Google supporting GLAAD’s Global Voices Initiative. Global Spirit Day resource kits are presented by Logo’s Global Ally campaign.

Past participants in Spirit Day include the White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Laverne Cox, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, MTV, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.

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