The Brooklyn Nets will celebrate diversity and inclusion as the team hosts its first-ever Pride Night Wednesday, Jan. 25 when the Miami Heat visit Barclays Center. The Pride Night celebration will feature prominent members and allies of the LGBTQ community participating in a pre-game awareness panel and special in-game entertainment.
The pre-game panelSpread Diversity and Inclusion, it's the Brooklyn Waywill be an open discussion to raise awareness for LGBTQ diversity, equality, and community. The panel will include Jason Collins, a former Nets player and the NBA's first active openly gay player; Elisa Padilla, chief marketing officer for Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment; Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director of Athlete Ally; and Anil Atluri, head of macro distribution for the Americas at Barclays, and executive sponsor of the company's LGBTQ employee network in the Americas. The panel will be moderated by Tracy Baim, the publisher and executive editor of Windy City Times in Chicago.
"I am extremely honored and excited to attend the Brooklyn Nets first ever Pride Night game," said Collins. "The Nets supported me when I made my announcement a few years ago, and they continue to support and encourage all to live an authentic life. Jan. 25 will be a celebration of diversity, inclusion, and acceptance for all that strive for equality."
"We are proud to host our first-ever Pride Night," said Padilla. "Brooklyn is the epitome of a melting pot, with more than 150 nationalities making up the fabric of the borough. It's important that we take a stand publicly to show every single one of our fans that we support and embrace them, regardless of gender, race, nationality or sexual orientation."
The Pride festivities will begin before the game's 7:30 p.m. tip-off with a special national anthem performance. Pride Night will be embraced throughout the venue spanning from special video content to food and beverage offerings. Additionally, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps marching band will perform at halftime.
A t-shirt with the Nets logo in rainbow colors will be featured as the Item of the Game, and will be available for purchase at the Swag Shop at Barclays Center for $15.
In support of the evening, the Brooklyn Nets Foundation will make a donation to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth, with an on-court presentation to tip off the team's ongoing campaign to spread diversity and inclusion. The Nets' donation will aid The Trevor Project in growing the capacity of its crisis services, social media, and development teams to reach more youth than ever before.
Fans interested in attending this special night can visit brooklynnets.com/pride or ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets, and enter promo code PRIDE to receive a pair of Nets Pride socks. During the ticket purchase process, fans can select the $30 panel option in addition the ticket price. All proceeds from the panel tickets will go to the Brooklyn Nets Foundation, which will designate the funds to support LGBTQ charities. For more information on group sales call 855-GROUP-BK.
To read about Elisa Padilla's personal connection to Pride Night, see www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/1/19/why-im-coming-out-now .
Fans are encouraged to show support on social media throughout the night by using #NetsPrideNight.
For additional information, please visit Brooklynse.com .