Rainbows have been raining down on the hardwood as the Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League and Champion, the streetwear brand born from sport, slam-dunk their second season of the vibrant Champion Pride Round.
This isn’t just about flashy uniforms and gravity-defying dunks; it’s a powerful alley-oop for inclusivity and active allyship, creating a safe space for everyone in the basketball community, regardless of who they love or how they identify.
Adelaide 36ers star and Pride Round ambassador Isaac Humphries was at the heart of this year’s round.
“Seeing Pride Round thrive into its second year means a lot to me and the LGBTQ+ community,” he said.
“I hope we’re closer to everyone feeling they belong here.” His presence on the court is a beacon of acceptance, inspiring both players and fans.
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Leading the charge is Sarah Flynn, General Manager of Champion Australia and New Zealand, declaring, “We’re thrilled to celebrate Pride Round’s return with the NBL. It’s about promoting inclusivity and being loud and proud allies, not just within the league, but across the whole game.”
Champion goes beyond rainbow marketing, sponsoring grassroots initiatives and empowering allies sessions with Pride in Sport.
Numbers speak volumes – a recent Pride in Sport survey revealed 68.2% of respondents felt their sporting experience improved due to visible allies. This round isn’t just about optics; it’s about creating real change.
But Champion’s support goes beyond the NBL courts. As the major sponsor of Queers Sporting Alliance (QSA), they provide financial support, collaborate on inclusive events, and even design and donate basketball uniforms for members. Thanks to their unwavering commitment, QSA has grown to over 1,100 members and launched the Q League, the first community basketball and netball league for queer players.
Last November, Champion united with the NBL to announce the return of the Champion Pride Round with an Australian-first ‘PRIDE’ display made entirely from basketballs.
Fans were invited to make history by supporting the build, spelling out the word ‘PRIDE’ with 1,300 basketballs. The activation solidified both organisations’ LGBTIQA+ allyship and ongoing commitment to making sport more inclusive for all. The majority of balls were donated to LGBTIQA+ and community organisations.
NBL CEO, David Stevenson said the League welcomes everyone.
“We are determined to create an accessible and safe environment for all to enjoy without fear of discrimination,” said Stevenson.
“The LGBTQ community plays an important role in our sport and wider society. The courage within this community cannot be understated. It is full of great role models, including Isaac Humphries, who has inspired so many.”
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Last Updated on Jan 23, 2024