Toronto Raptors To Host First Official You Can Play Night in NBA History
The Toronto Raptors will host their inaugural Raptors x You Can Play Night on Wednesday, January 17 when they host Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre, marking the first You Can Play game in NBA history. The You Can Play project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.
“The Toronto Raptors are honoured to welcome fans to Air Canada Centre for the first You Can Play night,” said Masai Ujiri, President, Toronto Raptors. “As an organization, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment prides itself on the values of diversity, equality and inclusion and we look forward to being a part of history, together with our passionate fans and the city of Toronto.”
Throughout the night, Toronto Raptors will promote inclusion in the basketball community and sport in a variety of ways. Members of You Can Play will be hosted at Wednesday’s game with rainbow flags integrated into the national anthems and pregame ceremonies. Egale Youth OUTreach, a team from a local LGBTQ sports league, will also attend and be given the opportunity to watch shootaround before the game. The night will feature in-game recognition of You Can Play, LGBTQ Awareness and involve a special jersey presentation from team mascot, The Raptor. A public service announcement featuring Toronto Raptors players will be shown in-arena and shared on Toronto Raptors’ digital media channels. Throughout the night, You Can Play “Did You Know” facts and statistics regarding LGBTQ bias in sport will also be shown in-arena.
In addition, $5 from every ticket purchased at raptors.com/ticketpass using the promo code YCPRAPS18 will be donated to You Can Play. The first 250 ticket purchasers who use the promo code will receive a toque commemorating the special partnership between Toronto Raptors and You Can Play. The toque will also be available for purchase at The Toronto Raptors store powered by Real Sports Apparel and at a 300 level concourse kiosk for $20, with all proceeds going to You Can Play. "You Can Play is honoured to be a part of this special evening, and so appreciative of the support of the Raptors and the entire Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment family,” said Ryan Pettengill, Executive Director, You Can Play. “The Raptors are clearly committed to promoting inclusion and safety in sport, and You Can Play is proud to be included in that effort.”
For more information about You Can Play, click here.
About the You Can Play Project:
You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on the athlete's skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. More information about You Can Play can be found at youcanplayproject.org.