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NBA commissioner Adam Silver celebrates at gay pride parade

By
Alex Butler
Commissioner Adam Silver attended the gay pride parade for the second consecutive year on Sunday in New York City. File photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI
Commissioner Adam Silver attended the gay pride parade for the second consecutive year on Sunday in New York City. File photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

June 26 (UPI) -- NBA boss Adam Silver was waving a rainbow flag and dancing this weekend at a gay pride parade in New York City.

Silver rode in a float during the celebration Sunday, standing next to the league's first openly gay player, Jason Collins.

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Collins came out in 2013. The 38-year-old was picked in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft and enjoyed a 13-year NBA career. Collins earned more than $34 million in salary, playing for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards.

Silver was joined in the float by several other NBA personalities at the 48th NYC Pride March event, including Golden State Warriors president Rick Welts. Welts, who also is openly gay, was joined by partner Todd Gage.

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Gage wore a shirt reading: "Proud Champions." The garb was a nod toward the Warriors' victory in the 2017 NBA Finals.

Silver also attended the parade last year, as did Collins.

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TMZ and The Players' Tribune captured several photos of Silver in action.

The New York Times reported that several representatives from the WNBA also attended the parade. NBA referee Bill Kennedy, who came out as gay more than a year ago, also enjoyed the celebration.

"I just loved being on a float," Silver told the Times. "If I had only known what it was like to be in a parade! I've been telling teams: 'You've got to a win a championship, because being in a parade is unbelievable.'"

Warriors star and 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant sent his support via Twitter.

"Proud that our president @RickWelts is representing the @warriors and joining with the @nba & @wnba family in this year's #NYCPride March," Durant wrote.

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The NBA's corporate office and headquarters is located in New York City. Last July, Silver and the NBA stripped the 2017 NBA All-Star game from the city of Charlotte, N.C., due to a state law which directed transgender people to use public toilets based on the sex listed on their birth certificates. The league awarded the city the 2019 All-Star Game.

In March, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill which repealed HB2 and banned local governments from passing anti-discrimination ordinances for three years, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law," Silver wrote in a May NBA release.

"Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies."

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About 40,000 people were expected to attend the New York parade, according to amny.com.

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