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In August of last year, the Indiana Fever came together with Indiana Equality Action and Indiana Youth Group organizations for Equality Night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (See videos below.) Now the 2012 WNBA champions are set to coalesce with the Indianapolis LGBT community again this summer: Indy Pride, Inc. has announced that it will team up with the Fever and IE Action—the latter a player in efforts to kill HJR-3 early this year—to present Diversity Night when the Fever host the Seattle Storm on June 11. Organizers have added that event to the 2014 Circle City IN Pride Festival, with that ball dropping in the middle of a week's worth of happenings that already include a high-profile performance by Grammy nominee Mary Lambert.
As she did last year, the Fever's young playmaker Layshia Clarendon, the squad's 2013 WBNA draft pick, is making a point of getting involved with the causes at hand. "It will be a great experience for all of us to join together in community for a goal—equality and acceptance," the self-described LGBT activist said in a statement. After that June 11 game, Clarendon and head coach Lin Dunn will post up courtside with Indy Pride to talk sports, equality, and their organizations' respective efforts to enhance both.
With this move, another professional sports organization seeks to make an impact in an area from which teams have typically steered clear. On related notes, the NBA showcased its first openly gay active player this year in Jason Collins, and the NFL seems likely to suit up its first openly gay star soon enough, based on Michael Sam's coming out ahead of that league's draft.
Time and trends march on, and it appears the Fever are pivoting into a lock-step with both.
Diversity Night with Indy Pride, Inc., IE Action, and the Fever. June 11, 7 p.m. Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St. (Full festival June 6–14.) circlecityinpride.org/fever
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