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NBA adds non-discrimination agreement in collective bargaining, groups respond
From news releases, updated Dec. 9, 2011
2011-12-07

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From an HRC news release

The Human Rights Campaign congratulated the National Basketball Association ( NBA ) , who announced today they would be a adopting a non-discrimination policy that covers sexual orientation as part of their collective bargaining agreement. The announcement comes on the same day that HRC released the 2012 Corporate Equality Index, which scores U.S. employers on their policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees. Earlier this year, the National Football League and Major League Baseball added sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination protections.

"The NBA now joins the ranks of some of the most influential organizations and corporations in the country, who all believe that equality and inclusion are integral to a successful workplace," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "We are grateful to Commissioner Stern, the NBA and the Players' Association for sending such a powerful message to society that what matters is a person's talent, not their sexual orientation."

Over the last year, a number of professional athletes have worked with HRC to promote LGBT equality in America. Most recently, NBA great Steve Nash, Sean Avery of the NHL, and the NFL's Michael Strahan, Brendan Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita all participated in video ads speaking out in favor of marriage equality.

Because there are no legal protections at the federal level, many private employers have adopted policies to protect their LGBT employees against unfair employment practices. HRC called on the NBA to adopt non-discrimination policies that cover sexual orientation and gender identity, and will continue to advocate for the inclusion of gender identity in their nondiscrimination policy.

Released today, HRC's Corporate Equality Index ( CEI ) provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. For more information on the report and a list of the 636 participating companies, go to www.hrc.org/CEI.

From a GLAAD news release

New York, NY, 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.


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