NBA Player Suggests Rainbow Jerseys To Support LGBTQ Rights

Reggie Bullock, whose transgender sister was stabbed to death in 2014 in Baltimore, has previously advocated for improving rights for LGBTQ individuals

Detroit Pistons player Reggie Bullock, who is a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights, tweeted about professional sports players using rainbow jerseys over the weekend.

Bullock, whose transgender sister was stabbed to death in 2014, has previously advocated for improving rights for LGBTQ individuals. In a 2016 interview, he said “I support them and feel like no hatred should be done against anyone in the LGBT community. And [it’s] just my right for me to stand up for my sister and the life that she chose to live. And I just stand up for her.”

The NBA player has previously hosted an LGBTQ Pride Night and has a tattoo in support of LGBTQ rights.

The league already has a partnership with Fanatics, which sells NBA shirts featuring rainbow logos, and anti-LGBTQ bullying organization GLSEN.

Some Twitter users expressed support for Bullock’s idea, and one person even designed a jersey using the blue and pink of the transgender flag. Others were critical of his statement.

The NBA, like many other sports leagues, is slowly crawling toward a more LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere. In 2014, Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete to participate in the NBA — and in any of the major North American professional sports leagues. The same year, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the NFL. The NHL, however, does not currently have any openly gay coaches, players, or referees.

Efforts like Bullock's to challenge anti-LGBTQ sentiment in sports can help create a more inclusive environment for athletes of all gender orientations and sexualities. Using his platform to improve inclusivity in sports is a commendable effort, especially given the great loss he suffered as a result of hatred toward LGBTQ individuals. 

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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