The National Basketball Association’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed by the players’ union and ratified Thursday by the NBA’s board of governors, now includes language protecting players from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“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.
The move was immediately hailed by the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy groups:
“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, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“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.” Thompson said.
“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.”
The NBA already had a similar non-discrimination policy in place for employees.