It seems like the world of professional sports has come light years in progress over the past year as a number of sports stars have either come out of the closet or have come out in support of LGBT rights and marriage equality. And although the NBA came under fire earlier this week amid rumors that newly out NBA star Jason Collins may be getting shut out of the NBA over his sexuality, the pro b-ball league beamed with another ray of hope last week when the Portland Trail Blazers became the first NBA team to publicly support same-sex marriage.
News of the groundbreaking moment came last week after The Portland Mercury reported that city’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns FC, formally threw their weight behind a ballot measure next year that would allow same-sex marriage in Oregon.
“We are proud to support Oregon United for Marriage and its efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all Oregonians next November,” Timbers and Thorns owner Merritt Paulson said in a prepared statement.
In the article the publication challenged the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers to follow suit and show their support for the marriage equality bill as well. Much to everyone’s surprise, Michael Lewellen, VP for communications of the Trail Blazers, sent Mercury a statement announcing their support for same-sex marriage.
“The Portland Trail Blazers are in support of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection ballot initiative. We do so as believers in individual choice as a fundamental right of all people,” read the statement.
The Portland Trail Blazers are now officially the first team of the “Big Four” branches of the sports world to publicly support marriage equality.
We commend the Trail Blazers for standing in support of LGBT rights and marriage equality and we hope other teams will follow suit and not only endorse marriage equality but also sincerely embrace the idea of signing LGBT athletes to their teams.
Check out some sports stars that are blazing a trail for LGBT rights below. – nicholas robinson