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The NBA Adds ’Sexual Orientation’ to Bargaining Agreement

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Dec 9, 2011
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The sports world is showing more tolerance and respect for the LGBT community. Nearly three weeks ago the Major League Baseball added "sexual orientation" to the discrimination section in the organization’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, reported New York Daily News in a Nov. 22 article. Now, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) reports that the National Basketball Association is following in the MLB’s footsteps and will protect its gay athletes with its new collective bargaining agreement.

Players will now be protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This includes anti-gay language from other players.

"I am pleased to announce that we have concluded the collective bargaining process and have reached an agreement that addresses many significant issues that were challenges to our league," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "This collective bargaining agreement will help us move toward a better business model, a more competitive league and better alignment between compensation and performance."

In the past, the NBA has issued a fine to the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah when he used a homophobic slur against a fan. As reported here, the fine was $50,000. It also led the NBA to collaborate with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination to fight such trash talk among players.

"The NBA now joins leading Fortune 500 companies and the vast majority of Americans who believe that gay people should have the same opportunities to work and live freely as who they are," said Mike Thompson, acting president of GLAAD.

Several sports stars have publicly come out of the closet in other countries -- in most cases, the sports world was accepting. EDGE reported on a Nov. 11 article that Canadian soccer star David Testo announced he was gay. In addition, EDGE reported about leading German soccer player, Mario Gomez, who encouraged gay athletes to come out of the closet.

No American male pro athletes have come out before retiring.

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