Basketballer Isaac Humphries praises NBL’s first Pride Round

Isaac Humphries on The Project talking about coming out
Image: Ten

The National Basketball League’s first active openly gay player Isaac Humphries has applauded the NBL’s decision to host a Pride Round for the first time.

From Wednesday, all NBL courts across the country will feature sponsor Champion’s pride logo as well as a pride progress flag during Round 17.

Across nine games, the NBL’s players will be invited to wear jerseys that feature the pride logo on it.

Isaac Humphries is currently the only openly gay player in men’s top-tier basketball. He came out as a gay in a powerful speech with his club in November.

He said Pride Round was another step toward a more comfortable and welcoming environment in the sport.

“Since I made my announcement, not only has it made me feel free and happy, but it has also inspired me to help create serious change and set an example,” he said.

“You can be a professional athlete, or anything you want to be, and still be gay.

“The support I have received has been overwhelming and I’ve been so thankful for that.

“The challenge now is to help others on their journey and make a real change.”

Players can wear regular jerseys during Pride Matches if they prefer

Speaking about the Pride Round, NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said “basketball is for everyone”.

“We have always been strong advocates for diversity and inclusion,” Loeliger said.

“We will do all we can to ensure the NBL is a community where everyone is welcomed and supported, and individuals are encouraged to be themselves without fear of discrimination or judgement.

“Pride Round is a way for us to acknowledge and thank the LGBTQ community.”

Alluding to the NRL’s messy pride jersey boycott drama last year, the NBL has said players are permitted to wear their regular jerseys if they prefer.

“We acknowledge, at times, there will be challenges with various stances we take as an organisation and they may conflict with some people’s beliefs,” Loeliger said.

“Regardless, we will continue to work together to support each other. And we will always respect that people may have different views, opinions and values to ours.”

The Australian Basketball Players’ Association (ABPA) said the Pride Round has the support of the players.

Read also: Isaac Humphries says gay AFL player ‘shouldn’t fear’ coming out

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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