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Last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Monsters celebrated the LGBTQ+ community and their allies with two Pride Celebrations at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
During the Cavs second annual Pride Night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 30th, the team debuted For The Love. For The Land. For Pride., a special video highlighting the local leaders of the LGBTQ+ community, inspired by the Cavaliers For The Love. For The Land. banner on the Sherwin-Williams global headquarters in downtown Cleveland. The video was created in collaboration with local producer and photographer Autumn Bland, creator of Portraits of Pride, who also appears in the video.
At the Monsters inaugural Pride Night on Sunday, April 25th, autographed hockey sticks and 80 commemorative Pride pucks were auctioned off on the DASH auction platform through the Monsters mobile app. All proceeds from the pucks and player sticks benefited the Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI), a locally based non-profit organization that serves and promotes the well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community and persons at risk and/or affected by HIV through education, support services, quality housing, and advocacy. CANAPI is also the fiscal sponsor of the Akron Pride Festival, which will take place in person on Saturday, August 28, 2021 in Downtown Akron.
Additionally, proceeds from the Cavs and Monsters Pride Collections in the Team Shop benefited Pride in the CLE, presented by the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, with the mission to enrich the lives of the diverse LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, support, education and celebration. Items from the Cavs and Monsters Pride Collections are still available at Cavs.com/Shop and MonstersTeamShop.com.
For each celebration, the FieldHouse’s massive 77,110 square foot curtain wall was lit with the colorful shades of the rainbow in recognition of the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride Night is part of the extensive, ongoing commitment of the Cavs, Monsters and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse organization to maintain and foster an inclusive environment that is welcoming to everyone. Recently, two restrooms at the FieldHouse were converted into all-gender facilities in order to increase safe and appropriate accommodations for all visitors.
Commitment to Ohio Business Competes
Earlier this month the Cavs and Monsters also joined the Ohio Business Competes, a non-partisan coalition of businesses with a mission to achieve nondiscrimination policies at the state level in order to attract the best talent, to increase Business-to-Business & Business-to-Consumer relationships and to grow Ohio’s economy.
“The Cavs and Monsters joined Ohio Business Competes because the coalition’s commitment to achieving nondiscrimination throughout Ohio aligns with our organization’s core values,” said Kevin Clayton, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Inclusion for everyone is an integral part of our culture and we are proud to do our part in making Ohio a better, more equitable place to live and work.”
“Ohio Business Competes is thrilled to welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Monsters as the newest members of our coalition of nearly 1,100 businesses, nonprofits, and labor unions coming together to support LGBTQ+ Ohioans,” said Ohio Business Competes Board Member Alana Jochum. “LGBTQ+ equality will give every team in Ohio, from the Cavs and Monsters to your local coffee shop, a better chance of attracting and retaining the very best workforce."
Ohio Business Competes hopes to hit 1,200 members by the end of Pride month in June. Businesses can sign up to join at OhioBusinessCompetes.org/join.