The National Basketball Association
(NBA) has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The protection was included in the
league's latest collective bargaining agreement, which was signed by
the players' union and ratified Thursday by the NBA's board of
The NBA joins the National Football
League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) in offering such
protections to players.
Mike Thompson, acting president of the
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), praised the
“The NBA now joins 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,” Thompson said in a statement. “This decision
shows that homophobia has no place on the court or in the game and we
hope that local college and high school teams follow this important
In May, former
Phoenix Suns CEO Rick Welts announced he's gay, becoming the
NBA's first openly gay official to lead a team. Welts said NBA
Commissioner David Stern was supportive of his decision to come out.
now lives with his boyfriend in California.)
Stern also acted against Kobe
Bryant and Joakim
Noah when they hurled anti-gay slurs earlier this year.