Kings host Phoenix in first-ever Pride Round fixture in Sydney
This Sunday will see the Sydney Kings hold their first-ever home Pride Round fixture at Qudos Bank Arena, as part of the NBL's inaugural round.
The round, which will promote, celebrate and give thanks to the LGBTQ community, while showcasing basketball as a sport striving to provide a safe, healthy and accessible environment for all, will see the reigning champions display a Pride progress flag x ‘C’ logo on their jerseys and shorts for their fixture against South East Melbourne.
"Sport isn’t always seen as the most inclusive place, so Pride Rounds are an important way for teams to show their support for LGBTQ+ athletes and fans," said Beau Newell, national program manager, Pride in Sport.
"It’s been inspiring to see how the players, coaches and staff across the NBL have engaged in learning and are reaching out to build new and stronger relationships with the LGBTQ+ community,"
Newell and his team have been blown away by the response to Pride Round and hope it's something the NBL continues with in the future.
"The response from fans, players and clubs has been overwhelmingly positive," he said.
"It is also encouraging to see the broader LGBTQ+ community and allies celebrating this initiative.
"We look forward to seeing this event evolve and grow over the coming years.
"We will be listening and learning throughout the round so that each year teams can create a home game experience that can better engage their local LGBTQ+ community.
"These lessons will not only help the NBL Pride Round to improve but can guide all sporting codes as they become more active and involved in inclusion."
In a replay of last year’s grand final, the Sydney Kings have overcome a slow start in Tasmania on Friday night, to defeat the JackJumpers 91-77 at MyState Bank Arena.— Sydney Kings (@SydneyKings) January 27, 2023
Full match report ? https://t.co/ABJoOW03qN#WeTheKings #NBL23 pic.twitter.com/fGTb1j4xKG
Sunday's Hoops Capital double-header, which will see the Flames take on Townsville from 1.30pm AEDT before the Kings and Phoenix game, is set to be attended by notable members of the LGBTQ community including Andrew Purchas, Beau Newell, Ben Cork, Emma Staples (all Pride in Sport), Jane Ubrien, Nicolo Urbini (both Sydney Spectres), Alexandra Nayor, Ana Barcham (both Queer Sports Alliance), Diane Minnis (Sydney 78ers) and Kristen Penny (NBL).
The 2022 Pride in Sport survey (which got responses from more than 30 members sports) shows sports that choose to focus on creating more inclusive cultures through education, awareness and engagement produce outstanding results.
Of the survey respondents, 85 per cent believe work in this aspect (LGBTQ) of diversity and inclusion has a positive influence on sporting culture, 91 per cent say jokes/innuendo targetting people of diverse sexuality and/or gender are not acceptable in any sport, 88 per cent of LGBTQ survey respondents had not felt excluded based on their sexuality in the past year and 78 per cent would recommend their sport as an inclusive space for other LGBTQ people.
To ensure you're part of the historic occasion, grab your tickets now here.