UPDATE on NBA’s new nondiscrimination policy

Posted on 08 Dec 2011 at 10:14pm

After posting the earlier notice about the National Basketball Association’s new nondiscrimination policy that includes protections based on sexual orientation, I got an email from Rafael McDonnell, communications and advocacy manager from Resource Center of Dallas, reminding me that RCD has been communicating with NBA officials for sometime now, encouraging the association to adopt just such a policy. In fact, McDonnell sent a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern and NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter, urging them to include an gay-inclusive nondiscrimination policy in the association’s collective bargaining process. He then followed up with a seconed entreaty in November.

Rafael McDonnell

On Wednesday this week, after NBA officials announced that they and the players had finally settled on a collective bargaining agreement, McDonnell sent an email to Michael Bass, executive vice president of communications for the NBA, asking why the gay discrimination protections were not included in that agreement. Bass replied earlier today, telling McDonnell that he would discuss the terms of the agreement once the NBA Board of Governors had ratified the agreement.

At 5:58 p.m. today, Bass followed up with a brief email to McDonnell: “Non-discrimination was added into the agreement that protects players from discrimination, including based on sexual orientation.”

Outsports has this brief notice about the change and RCD’s involvement.

I also want to note that in my initial post on this, I referenced policies protecting LGBTs from discrimination, and that isn’t accurate. According to Bass’ email to McDonnell, the new policy protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not against discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. AND since the policy offers protection for players in the NBA, the only people it will help is gay male pro basketballers, since there are no women of any orientation playing in the NBA.

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