Denver Nuggets Star Kenneth Faried Joins Athlete Ally
We are pleased to announce today that Denver Nuggets star forward Kenneth Faried has joined the organization as an Athlete Ally. With the addition of a widely respected NBA player to the program, it is clear that sports culture is shifting toward inclusion.
Faried, a New Jersey native nicknamed the "Manimal", is a 23 year-old star for the Denver Nuggets who played at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Earlier this season, Faried won the Player of the Week award and set a new career high with 20 rebounds in a game against the Miami Heat. Last week, Faried was selected to take part in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night in Houston on Febuary 16th and he will also be participating in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. The proud son of two lesbian moms, Faried stood up in January to support marriage equality with a PSA geared toward legislation in Colorado.
"Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country. I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community - whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans - to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities," said Faried.
"In the last month, we have seen seven professional athletes around the world align with Athlete Ally", says Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. "As Kenneth joins 4 NFL players, including a Super Bowl champ, a pro rugby player and an Australian Rules Football star, he is bringing our movement to a new level. Kenneth is standing out not only as an incredible talent, but as an incredible ally. We are thrilled to have him on board and grateful to the NBA for its continued leadership."
Kathy Behrens, Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs for the NBA said of the announcement: "We are proud to work with Athlete Ally and thank Kenneth for his leadership on this issue. His support on this issue is a welcome step in the NBA's ongoing efforts to raise awareness about and end homophobia in sports."
Brian Ellner, who led the Campaign for New York Marriage and who serves on the Athlete Ally Board of Directors, added: "Kenneth's advocacy for marriage equality was game changing and his work to transform the culture of sports as an Athlete Ally will also make a huge difference. Today, Kenneth sends a loud message to young people around the world that you can be who you are and compete at any level."
As an Athlete Ally, Faried joins Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns, Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans, Australian rugby star David Pocock, Australian Rules Football player Brock McLean and scores of college athletes who have already signed on. Faried will act as a liaison between the organization and the NBA, help promote Athlete Ally's mission to end homophobia in sports by speaking out to his team, league and fan base, and encouraging his colleagues to join in the effort.
The announcement comes as an extension of Athlete Ally’s ongoing relationship with the NBA. In August, the organization worked in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to deliver a pioneering LGBT awareness training to the 2012 NBA rookies, which included Faried. Along with today's news of Faried’s alignment with Athlete Ally, we are pleased to announce plans to continue and expand that training program in 2013.