The Warriors celebrated their annual LGTBQ night on Wednesday, marking the first time the event was held at Chase Center. It was a vibrant evening on Warriors Ground dedicated to diversity, inclusion and acceptance, featuring two of the most well-known athletes in the world. Furthermore, the night was packed with special events including colorful performances and a postgame panel, presented by Accenture, focused on the importance of celebrating one’s authentic self. As an organization, the Warriors have upheld a culture of respect and equality, and strive to amplify these values on and off the court.
To tip off the celebratory evening, special guests two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe and three-time WNBA champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird rang the cable car bell as part of the Warriors’ new pregame ceremony at Chase Center.
The festivities continued on the court as the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Band performed the National Anthem.
Following the first quarter, Warriors President Rick Welts presented the "most powerful couple in sports,” with custom Warriors jerseys, complete with the decorated athletes’ respective numbers.
In a special halftime performance, the world’s first LGBTQ-identified cheerleading team, Cheer SF, took center stage. Throughout the evening, multi-colored flags graced the court, complimenting the evening’s symbolic theme.
Following Wednesday’s game, a LGBTQ panel, presented by Accenture was held in the arena. The panel, moderated by Meena Harris, Founder and CEO of Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign and Uber’s Head of Strategy and Leadership, focused on the themes of equality, authenticity and the importance of allyship. Each panelist spoke sincerely about the challenges they’ve faced in sports, business and their (respective) communities.
“If you have people in the room that come from different backgrounds, that bring different life experiences, who represent your customers (or) fans differently…when you get people like that in the room, you just make better decisions,” Warriors President Rick Welts shared.
The conversation also focused on allyship, and the importance of building trust and accountability with others. David Kelly, the Warriors Chief Legal Officer and founding member of the organization’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, shared, “Being an ally means being willing to use your power to create a better world.”
The panel concluded with final thoughts from Rapinoe.
“Every single person has a responsibility to make the world a better place in someway; whether that’s in your family or your friends or your community…It’s really important to do it in the way that you are going to be the most impactful … Everybody has some opportunity to do something.”
It was an exceptional evening for Dub Nation who came out to celebrate inclusion, acceptance and most notably, the importance of being one’s self.