Pride Month Spotlight: Special Events Sales Director Karl Crudup

In honor of Pride Month, the Kings organization is highlighting team members who have made an impact in their field while also celebrating their identity in the LGBTQ+ community.

This week, we spoke with Special Events Sales Director Karl Crudup.

How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?

In my role as the Special Events Sales Director, I lead sales and service strategies for our private events business at Golden 1 Center. I also develop new revenue generating opportunities for the Hospitality Department.

What is your favorite part about your role?

My favorite part of my role is collaborating with my amazing teammates on anything! It’s great to work alongside innovative sports industry professionals whom I also continue to learn from.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month is a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. It’s also an opportunity to remind and educate us all on the positive impact of an inclusive society.

How do you identify and celebrate that identity?

I identify as a gay black man and often celebrate that by showing up for my community, family/friends, colleagues and allow them to see me thriving.

Who are some of your biggest role models and inspirations?

My biggest role model is my late God Sister Raquel who showed me what kindness and strength look likes when adversity, inequality and stigmas appear. Raquel inspired me to live out my wildest aspirations and created a safe space for me to be me. Her advice and support have deeply influenced my professional career as well.

What do you think is the most important thing for people to know about the LGBTQ+ community?

Simply put, our voices, ideas, thoughts and presence are valuable and needed in all of our communities.

In your opinion, what does it look like to be a strong ally to the LGBTQ+ community?

Strong allies to the LGBTQ+ community seek to learn and educate especially when our voices aren’t present. It’s ok to ask questions and have uncomfortable conversations to gain understanding or perspective. This is a starting, key proponent in being able to advocate for our community.

What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ youth looking to get into the sports industry?

Don’t be afraid to aspire to work in an industry where it’s hard to see our community deeply represented, yet! Call upon myself and others who have pioneered a way for our community to be seen and included for advice. We need you! I always welcome opportunities to share my story and path working in sports with hopes that it may lead to especially more LGBTQ+ youth evolving our industry.

What has been your perspective on the Black Lives Matter protests and with it occurring at the same time as Pride Month?

Trans Black women were on the front lines of the NY Stonewall riots protesting against police brutality of the LGBTQ+ community. The inception of Pride Month itself was because of these protests and radical acts of change that started the conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. As black and gay in America, I have experienced inequality in many forms. Intersectionality at its root is activism and you can’t stand with one community and leave out the other. It will take us all to ensure Black Lives Matter!

What do you believe is the next step for society to take in regards to LGBTQ+ rights?

Everyone can play an active role to further continue our strides for LGBTQ+ rights by continuing to educate and advocate for equality in all aspects of our lives. It’s also important that we all support local resources like the Sacramento LGBT Community Center who play a large role in the health and wellness of the most marginalized people in our community.