Title: Raptors’ You Can Play Game Is a Significant Night in NBA History
Date: January 17, 2018
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice, I wrote about the Raptors hosting the NBA’s first You Can Play night to promote inclusivity in sport for the LGBTQ community, and why they felt it was important to do so.
The Toronto Raptors will host their inaugural You Can Play Night when they take on the Detroit Pistons at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. In tandem with the You Can Play Project—founded to combat homophobia in sports and to ensure safety and inclusion in sports for LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans—the event, the first of its kind in NBA history, will aim to promote equality, respect, and inclusion in the basketball community for LGBTQ people.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment previously hosted these nights at Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC games. Extending the idea to the Raptors, who have put a strong emphasis on equality and diversity on multiple fronts, is a natural progression. For those in the organization, it represents an opportunity to extend those values further while also paying the opportunities sports have provided them forward to more and more people.
“I think it’s a reflection of MLSE and the Raptors’ values, which are clear that the inclusion of everybody is what we all value,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told VICE Sports. “And specifically as it relates to sports, I think we’ve all been positively affected by sports and basketball in general, so opening that up to as wide a range as possible is good.”