Portland’s NBA team becomes Trailblazers on State Marriage Equality Initiative

BY ANTHONY ALFORD

The Portland Trailblazers are making history this week by endorsing marriage equality. This comes during a time when same-sex marriage has been covered extensively in the media. 

“The Portland Trail Blazers are in support of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection ballot initiative,” said in a team statement. 

Within the year, legislation has been passed in several states including Washington and California allowing same-sex couples the right to get married. Now the state of Oregon has introduced a ballot initiative. The amount of publicity and media attention that sports receive provide a great forum for spreading the word on the marriage equality that needs to take place in Oregon.   
 
“We know that we have a really unique position to shine a bright light on an issue like this that is probably not completely traditional in professional sports today,” said Trail Blazers Vice President of Community Relations Traci Rose.
 
The national media has covered stories related to marriage equality heavily. And the sports world took note when one of their own had a big announcement to make.
 
Earlier this year, NBA player Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay active professional athlete.  The media praised him for his courage to come out during such a time when marriage equality laws are being challenged. He was featured on ESPN, nightly news shows, and honored in the LGBT community. 

With sports media supporting Collins and now the Trailblazers, the world of sports is shaping the way others are looking at marriage equality.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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