Men’s basketball to host first-ever LGBTQ pride night

Partnership between Brown Athletics, LGBTQ Center results in event during Dartmouth game

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 9, 2017

The men’s basketball team will host an LGBTQ Pride Night in partnership with the Brown LGBTQ Center this weekend, the first event of its kind at the University.

Saturday evening, Bruno will host Dartmouth in an Ivy League matchup, during which players will wear special multicolored warm-up jerseys in support of the LGBTQ students on campus. The Providence Gay Men’s Chorus will also perform the national anthem before the game.

The first 200 students to arrive at the game will receive free pride T-shirts, said Kelly Garrett, program director of the LGBTQ Center. The LGBTQ Center will also have a table set up in the Pizzitola Center where spectators can write notes of support to LGBTQ students that will be linked together as a symbol of allyship, Garrett said.

“We want people to know that we’re here, and we’re supportive of everyone on our campus,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04.

The event was created by the Brown Athletics department to show its strong support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students on campus.

“I was really excited because the athletics department approached us,” Garrett said. “It’s a huge statement from the athletics department in terms of their support for LGBTQ students and their LGBTQ athletes.”

“This is the most visible event that’s ever happened,” she added.

“We want to include everyone,” said co-captain Tavon Blackmon ’17. “It’s a night to support diversity and inclusion and let everyone know in the Brown community that they’re welcome to come to athletic events.”

Martin emphasized the importance of using athletics as a means to engage with the wider community.

“We realize we play a game,” Martin said. “There are much bigger things going on in the world at any time — we can use our sport as a vehicle to show that support.”

“It’s a big step forward,” Blackmon said. “It will just bring unity on campus and bring a lot of people together.”

The game will start at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Pizzitola Center.

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