The Milwaukee Bucks featured a drag show as part of their Pride Night festivities on Wednesday, with the event taking place at halftime of their game against the Denver Nuggets at Fiserv Forum.
Fans going to the game were able to purchase a ticket package for which they received a “Bucks Pride” scarf and beanie for those to show off their support for the LGBTQ+ community. The Bucks also showcased those who identify those in the community.
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The drag show drew mixed reviews on social media and sparked debate among some NBA fans and critics from those who were concerned about children being in the stands during halftime.
In addition to the Pride celebrations, Fiserv Forum announced Tuesday that it joined the Safe Place initiative and was marked by the Milwaukee Police Department as a “safe space for underrepresented members of our community, including the LGBTQIA+ community to call police for assistance.”
Bucks players were also in a video to tell fans why it’s important to welcome everybody into sports.
“The power of sport can bring everyone together. It doesn’t matter your gender. It doesn’t matter your ethnicity. It doesn’t matter your political views, and it definitely doesn’t matter your sexual identity,” Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said in a video posted to social media before the game.
Joe Ingles added that it was important for “fans and athletes and everyone in this world to make sporting events and any event for the LGBTQ community more accessible and more welcoming.”
Milwaukee won the game, 107-99.
There didn’t appear to be any controversy from players over the Pride Night festivities.
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In the NHL, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov ignited a firestorm of controversy since he decided to opt out of wearing a Pride warm-up jersey before a game last week.