The Philadelphia 76ers are back in action Thursday night in their first game since the All-Star break. The Brooklyn Nets will be in town as the Sixers look to resume their three-game winning streak. But the Sixers have a bit more planned for Thursday than your typical regular season game: Thursday night has been designated Pride Night.
More from the Sixers’ press release:
PHILADELPHIA — FEB. 19, 2020 — The Philadelphia 76ers announced details for its Pride Night, presented by GIANT Food Stores, tomorrow as the team takes on the Brooklyn Nets at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and 97.5 The Fanatic. The 76ers will celebrate diversity, inclusion and unity by hosting members and supporters from the local LGBTQ community.
“We are thrilled to host Pride Night tomorrow as we celebrate inclusivity and our fans and friends in the LGBTQ community,” Philadelphia 76ers President Chris Heck said. “Alongside GIANT, we’ve built a fun night of activations and festivities that bring together leaders in both the local and national LGBTQ community. This is another incredible opportunity to come together through the power of sports to support equality and inclusion.”
“GIANT believes firmly that diverse people, ideas and experiences not only make us a better place to work but helps create strong and vibrant communities,” said Matt Lutcavage, Chief Human Resources Officer, GIANT Food Stores. “We’re proud to partner with the 76ers on Pride Night as they bring the community together to celebrate diversity and honor the people and organizations dedicated to promoting inclusion and equality across the Philadelphia region.”
Prior to the game, the 76ers will host a VIP networking reception for local LGBTQ leaders, which will serve as an opportunity to build bonds and strengthen the city’s community. The reception will be attended by more than 75 leaders, including the NBA’s first openly gay player, Jason Collins, and Pennsylvania’s first openly gay elected state legislator, Rep. Brian Sims.
Fans attending tomorrow’s game will see Pride signage, LEDs and apparel throughout the arena as Franklin and Squad 76, presented by Planet Fitness, will don Pride-themed outfits for the night, while the first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded 76ers-GIANT pride rally towel. The Center’s concourse will feature a Valley Youth House LGBTQ Resource Table, and fans will also have the opportunity to sign two 16-feet Pride-themed banners, which will hang from the 76ers’ float in the 2020 Philly Pride Parade.
Throughout the game, the 76ers will recognize nonprofits dedicated to serving the local LGBTQ community. Prior to tipoff, LUCY outreach youth Cesar Cornejo will be honored as the 76ers Strong Kid of the Game, presented by The Rothenberg Law Firm, for Cornejo’s dedication to community service and helping others, while Camden Charter School senior and basketball team member Jessica Rodriguez will participate in the Captain’s Huddle. Rodriguez is on pace to become Camden’s first female 1,000-point scorer this season. The 76ers will also present William Way Center volunteer Elizabeth Coffey Williams with the New Era Tip of the Cap recognition. The William Way Center “encourages, supports and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, recreational, educational and cultural programming.”
At halftime, LUCY Outreach will receive the Game Changer Award, presented by Firstrust Bank. A Sixers Youth Foundation grantee partner, LUCY Outreach helps support youth in Camden and one of its signature programs is the HAVEN program that supports local LGBTQ youth and allies. LUCY and the 76ers partnered on a closed-door community conversation focused on the coming out journey this past summer with Jason Collins.