Welts Named a USTA 2011 ICON Award Honoree
Phoenix Suns President & Chief Executive Officer, Rick Welts, has been named a United States Tennis Association(USTA) 2011 ICON Award honoree.
The ICON Award reception has become one of the signature events at the US Open and will be held in New York City on September 6. It recognizes and celebrates those who have had a positive impact on diversity and inclusion in the sport industry and society.
In addition to his work with the Phoenix Suns, Welts will be recognized for his courage and efforts to eliminate homophobia in professional sports. On May 16, Welts was featured in a front-page New York Times story that announced he is gay, becoming the first senior executive of a major league sports team to take that step.
Three ICON Award honorees were selected for their achievements and commitments to remove barriers and create opportunities for others. This year’s other honorees include The Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center of Boston and former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins.
“It’s humbling to be recognized with the outstanding individuals and groups the USTA has chosen to receive this honor,” said Welts. “The ICON awards focus attention and generate constructive dialog around the issues of diversity and inclusion that need to be addressed in sports.”
The honorees join an accomplished list of those who have been previously recognized, including the late Arthur Ashe, baseball legend Hank Aaron, former USTA President Judy Levering and AT&T Mobility’s Chief Executive Officer Ralph de la Vega