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The Rockets had originally planned to debut the annual event on April 2, 2020, but that game was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Embracing inclusivity is something our team believes in strongly,” Rockets CEO Tad Brown told OutSmart Magazine in February 2020.
“It is our responsibility to celebrate all members of our community, including LGBTQ fans,” added Brown, who cited “overwhelming support” from owner Tilman Fertitta. “Pride Night will provide an experience that shows how much we support and appreciate them.”
According to Houston-based OutSmart, Golden State became the first NBA franchise to host a Pride Night during the 2017-18 season.
Other NBA teams to have hosted a pride night since then include the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, and Miami Heat.
A sampling of Houston’s Pride Night activities at Toyota Center is available below. The organization also hosted virtual panel event earlier in the day focused on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports and the workplace.