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Sunday, October 13th, 2013 at 3:02 pm  |  92 responses

Portland Trail Blazers Become First NBA Team to Formally Endorse Marriage Equality


The Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns FC—two Portland-based professional soccer teams—recently announced their support for a ballot measure that’d bring marriage equality to Oregon, the Portland Mercury reports. And then, in response to an e-mail from the Portland Mercury, the Trail Blazers did the same, making them the first NBA team to formally endorse marriage equality: “Michael Lewellen, VP for communications of the Trail Blazers sent this statement a few minutes ago, in response to my question to him this afternoon: ‘The Portland Trail Blazers are in support of the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection ballot initiative. We do so as believers in individual choice as a fundamental right of all people.’ The Trail Blazers are now the biggest pro sports team, apparently the first from a big four pro league, to formally endorse a marriage equality ballot measure.”

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  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    What? how does this have anything to do with the game of basketball. Why do societal issues interfere the in the purity of what goes on in 82 foot. Depersonalize and simply view the players as objects while they play. That’s why I disagree with fans who think it’s okay to insult player’s personalities and not critique their skill sets. I’m starting a movement. No more judging the player behind the athlete. Focus only on the athlete’s game.

  • Dundler

    Hey, good for them. Well done Blazers.

  • ScrewT

    Why does this matter? What does this have to do with professional sports? Good for them though, I guess. They’ll probably get a boost in merchandise sales for being hip and cool.

  • Ben

    It’s got nothing to do about being hip and cool. It’s basic human rights.

  • melvo

    Gee, if they wanted to sign Jason Collins, all they had to do was ask him.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    i don’t think the nba should involve itself in promoting human rights.

  • basketballrules

    Gay

  • Dundler

    …What in the world kind of attitude is that? NBA…involves humans. Is therefore linked to human rights

  • AiRsMiTh

    It’s comments like these that make me wonder how people can be so outrightly prejudiced, and be in vehement opposition to an issue that I imagine does not apply to them… I do not consider myself to be an endorser of LGBT rights, but I really don’t think it’s too much to ask to grant people of these orientations equal privileges that married couples are given.

    This comment gives off an air of ignorance and what I believe to be backwards thinking to be quite honest. I wonder how this person must feel about NBA Cares. Perhaps the NBA should not continue to waste their time with such efforts. The NBA, a league that is beloved and supported by fans throughout the United States (and beyond), a league whose teams have a direct relationship to many communities, should definitely not promote human rights.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    every job involves humans. contextualize.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    how is volunteer work a direct association with promoting a controversial issue. Why should the nba get involved with hotly contested issues. Every corporations has programs to help the less fortunate.

  • Dundler

    Yes they do. Hence, all should be linked to human rights. Why shouldn’t they? Perhaps you are lucky enough not to be persecuted or prejudiced against, I don’t know, but not all are. Why would anyone, or any business, whether its the NBA or a guy on market stall, promoting equal human rights, be a problem?

  • Dundler

    No they don’t

  • einstein

    faggotry will dooooom “modern” western “civilisation”

  • Dimitri Travkin

    they shouild make law like russia!!!

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Human rights is concept constructed under democracy. You’ll find that democracy works on groups with the same culture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnKZtSQZpfM&list=PL6C071F500648C214&index=18

  • AiRsMiTh

    Not necessarily a “direct” association, but NBA Cares has so many different ways to contribute to communities based on the fact that there is always something lacking in our communities, for whatever the reason may be (influenced or not); whether it be a lack of financial resources, human resources, etc.

    In the case of LGBT issues, there is obviously a lack of equality. For God’s sake, we are Americans. This country is founded upon the fact that we as humans have rights. That we are all created equal. Despite our past (and current) actions, which have not held true to our ideals, they are ultimately our ideals, and if at all possible, we as Americans should do everything we can to ensure that we stay true to the principles that gave birth to this country. Regardless of how we may personally feel about certain issues.

    I don’t like to debate over these sorts of “controversial” matters, but I just feel that this is a blatant example of hypocrisy, and makes little to no sense from a logical perspective. I don’t think that sports should be a primary platform for discussing these problems, but I don’t see anything wrong with an organization supporting a group of people who are not treated wholly like people, and having it be reported as news. I truthfully am tired of these stories and would wish that there was equality among everyone, so we could focus on more pressing issues since we are by no means lacking in that department.
    Of course you are entitled to feel however you want to, and think how you will, but I am in strong disagreement with you on this one, and I believe there are fairly sensible reasons why.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Thank you for respecting the first amendment. I agree there is no need for spending billions on space exploration when there are individuals who can’t eat in the US. However, I disagree with this blanket statement that we all should have equal rights. All humans are equally created but some are blessed with more than others which obviously skews impact on society. For example, those with more financial power have a greater responsibility. I mean the debate for equal legitimizing a sexual partnership is absurb. What’s next equal rights to marry squirrels. Health Care Health Care Health Care (People no matter should have access to basic health care). I love these demos that NBA Care/Fit does. Education. What is the NBA doing to educate these young african american males about liberal education which wasn’t why they went to college let alone how the nba will build public schools. I mean putting a laptop or a basketball court doesn’t do much if the kids don’t know how to use the laptops or how to critically read books. It’s like giving a kid who can’t drive a car. No utility in the money.

    Really think about homosexual freedom compared to other things that NBA care should be doing. I don’t think this “hot” social issue shouldn’t be in the media but yet it’s sensationalized–> WHY? When people start demanding freedom to marry biologically living species outside the human race it’s gonna lead to more absurdness in the media.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I mean the debate for equal legitimizing a sexual partnership is absurb. What’s next equal rights to marry squirrels. Health Care Health Care Health Care (People no matter should have access to basic health care). I love these demos that NBA Care/Fit does. Education. What is the NBA doing to educate these young african american males about liberal education which wasn’t why they went to college let alone how the nba will build public schools. I mean putting a laptop or a library doesn’t do much if the kids don’t know how to use the laptops or how to critically read books. It’s like giving a kid who can’t drive a car. No utility in the money.

    You know like how what unites all Americans. The worship of Money and Happiness. The two most vicious idols of all time.

    Really think about homosexual freedom compared to other things that NBA care should be doing. I don’t think this “hot” social issue shouldn’t be in the media but yet it’s sensationalized–> WHY? When people start demanding freedom to marry biologically living species outside the human race it’s gonna lead to more absurdness in the media.

    Like charles barkely said I am not a role model. The nba shouldn’t invest itself in these issues. Athletes are entertainers not philosphers. The money they get needs to be put back into the community properly. And the influence should be used properly not on an issue that deals with pursuing visceral happiness.

  • danpowers

    dude, you really got a tendency to appear extremely weird lol

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    social consensus inhibits critical thinking. the concept of the matrix and zombies exist search for truth

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Remove your pursuit of happiness in this world. And look at like as a mere repitition you’ll understand there are things that you’ll see that jack nichlson couldn’t eve nsay You cant handle the truth

  • Chester

    Calm down bro its all part of their welcome party theyre about to give to Jason Collins

  • Chester

    Oh whilst they talk about ‘basic’ human rights. Then they might as well start advocating for aslyum seeker and refugee rights cos you know what? These people actually have their LIVEs at stake, come on if you want to talk about human rights theres many more issues that need to be prioritised over gay marriage

  • initbruv

    How will it do that? Or is the “einstein” moniker sarcastic?

  • initbruv

    Support for one cause doesn’t mean that you can’t care about other things.

  • initbruv

    You are all over the place. The fact that you compared gay rights to someone wanting to marry a squirrel really highlights how pointless your whole diatribe is.

  • initbruv

    Because sports are about more than the sport itself. You might see it as merely “what goes on in 82 foot” (whatever that means), but the reason why sports are so omnipresent in society is that they are personalized.

  • Pingback: Portland Trail Blazers Become First NBA Team to Formally Endorse Marriage … – SLAM Online | The Basketball Site

  • Dagger

    Do you realize that you add nothing meaningful to any conversation on SLAM? That is because you:

    1. Cannot express your opinions coherently. You don’t know the meaning of the words you use, you can’t string them together sensibly, and you cannot construct an argument.
    2. Never support with evidence what beliefs you do manage to communicate.
    3. Rarely stick to the topic, and
    4. Espouse only the most ignorant and misguided foolishness. Your opinion that a relationship between two consenting same-sex adults is an absurdity on par with marriage to squirrels is somehow not even the most ridiculous thing you’ve written here.

    The worst thing is that you don’t even realize why others get annoyed with you. Well, now I’ve told you.

  • ratguts

    i really think he’s just trolling. nobody can actually be stupid enough to type “absurb”.

  • Dundler

    Ha, that got me too

  • Dundler

    Cosign

  • Dundler

    You….need help bro. I feel for you, but done enabling you by replying to you as if you have human intelligence.

  • danpowers

    your statementis are just barring critical thinking not to speak of common sense. not really worthy of a scholar, come on, you are better than that

  • danpowers

    this is not about “truth”, people are just calling you out in this thread for stubbornly sticking to an obsolete doctrine which ignores common sense

  • Chester

    What I’m trying to say is that people are willing to be advocates for issues that have considerably lower priority(personal opinion) and seem to be forgetting the bigger issues we have at hand that really need more support.

  • ATL dynamite

    You are saying as if Democracy stands as the only building ground for Human Rights to develop, and that Socialism, Marxism etc etc doesn’t recognize those (even if not as exaggerative as the ones claimed by Pro-democrats). I also don’t get the relationship between your response/argument and Dundler’s post. If you want to convince us, at least give some effort bro

  • Dagger

    I really hope you’re right.

  • Biggggg in here

    Im appalled. They need to keep these types of things under the rug. What does homosexuality and BBall have in common, NOTHING. No one cares. (At least I dont).

  • GymAlien

    As the GymAlien I’d like to formally announce I’m not Politically Correct I’m Common sense correct and attempt to be a moral being. That being said, Gay’s aren’t gay and the rainbow isn’t made for them (and stealing those words doesn’t make what they do right nor does it make them eligible for Marriage Equality another userped term to hide the reality of their perversion; yet it is America and I don’t really condemn them for what they do in the PRIVACY of their own homes)… Homosexuals have no business getting married since they can’t procreate and after all this is a Family supporting legal function. This aberration or any sexual perversion of the ADult Man and Woman relationship should not be offered up as a legitimate alternate or given ANY advantages that REAL Marriage does. (believe me when I tell you, NAMBLA is next in line) I support your right to be perverted in your own home as long as it doesn’t hurt others (But you have no moral common sense so I can’t trust you to do what’s right)… like when you try to force me to accept your error publicly; or make laws to legitimize that terrible mistake.

  • James Allen

    Putting a penis inside the wrong orifice as a lifestyle is absurd! And exchanging the evolutionary correct nature that man and woman were developed for is also likewise Absurd. Yet the Dumbed Down education system leads you right in line with Absurdity and it’s other name “Politically Correct”. Yet, I don’t blame you for your ignorance. “Welcome to the Machine”.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    …if they really wanted to show their support, they would sign Jason Collins

  • Dagger

    Sounds like you should have spent a few more years in that “dumbed down” education system.

  • initbruv

    Can a man and a woman who are unable or unwilling to have kids get married? I mean if marriage is strictly about procreation…

  • initbruv

    Ok but gay rights is about more than marriage. The reason why it seems like everyone is piling on to the movement is that everyone has family or friends that are gay and now we all understand what it’s been like for them to be stigmatized in society and the importance of making sure people know that we will no longer tolerate discrimination against them.

    I don’t give a sh*t about marriage because it’s a made up right that’s tied to religion that I want no part of. But I do know that love between gay people is no less legitimate than it is with straight people and anyone who is pushing that message is doing right in my mind.

  • initbruv

    It’s not about political correctness. We’re trying to stop you from embarrassing yourself. You’re on the losing team Jimmy. Get over it.

    And gay people don’t put their penises in the “wrong orifice” as a lifestyle. They do it for the same reason we put ours in the “right orifice”-for fun, to satisfy our carnal urges, to fully embrace our feelings of love and….yada yada…(mostly for the fun/carnal urge part).

    Or, in your Puritan, boring, repressed case, for procreation…*cough*

  • initbruv

    And you’re acting like democracy and Marxism are mutually exclusive. You should criticize capitalism, not democracy. Democracy is the only form of government that’s even remotely defensible.

  • initbruv

    Ugh, stop acting like anyone cares about political correctness. It’s the 21st century. People think you are a fool and lack heart. They don’t care about your political correctness.

  • foothandman

    Haters gonna hate. Blazers gonna blaze!!

  • foothandman

    … comments like this are the reason why it’s so important for organizations like the Trail Blazers to come out in support of LGBT rights. Name-calling and bullying push LGBT youth away from organized sports. Too often they end up depressed and suicidal.

  • foothandman

    Did you know that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death amongst teenagers and that LGBT teens are about 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual teens? Lives are at stake. It really is an important issue.

  • Ugh

    Wow. Now that was great.

  • Ugh

    Of all the things to call absurd you chose penis-orifice location?

  • Ugh

    Actually, all you’re saying there is that you don’t rate gay marriage as important.

  • Ugh

    But you already said that the NBA should stay away from contested issues like gay marriage. If it’s contested it can’t be consensus, if it’s not consensus it can’t be inhibiting critical thinking.

    Therefore, your anti-gay stance is not an example of critical thinking and being pro-gay is not an example of inhibited critical thinking.

  • Ugh

    Hey, don’t bring my good, gay name into this.

    Good point, though. Nobody but people who listen to talkback radio care about political correctness since about 1991.

  • Ugh

    Guess that means you’re no one.

  • Ugh

    A) Merchandising income is split among all teams. Blazers merch income goes to the 29 teams, too.

    B) The amount of people in the Portland region rushing out to buy merch because of this decision will add up to less than ten, I’d think. (I.e., everyone in Portland who is pro-gay has much, much more gay things to do than buy Blazers merch.) So the Blazers should make about fifty cents from this, which won’t cover the labour costs it took to write the press release.

    Which means (C), they aren’t doing this for the merch sales.

  • Ugh

    Several NBA teams and players have advocated (or in the case of the Suns, not) various human rights causes, including immigration and refugee status. Pau Gasol visited Domiz refugee camp in Iraq this year, for example.

  • Ugh

    Ignoring your appalling English, that’s factually not true. Most corporations actually don’t have programs to help the less fortunate.
    Also, you seem to be equating that being gay with being less fortunate, although your meaning is so obfuscated by your irrationality and literacy issues it’s hard to tell. But if it is, I’ll just put my middle finger here – what you do with it is up to you, okay?

  • Initbruv

    Lol that’s funny because you did pop into my head when I typed that. I don’t mean to sully your good, gay name sir.

  • Initbruv

    Lol “Everyone in Portland who is pro-gay has much, much more gay things to do than buy Blazers merch.”

  • OTB

    You realize that homosexuality exists in the animal kingdom in general, right? There is nothing un-natural about homosexuality. It exists in animals as a minority, and it exists in humans as a minority. Get over it.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I didn’t reveal a stance on the issue. Rather I was saying don’t get involved with contested issues

  • Biggggg in here

    I must be someone enough for you reply!! Thanks for your time. NEXT!

  • danpowers

    homosexuality makes sense on the basis of evolutionary theory as it is the perfect mechanism that keeps a species lacking natural enemies from overpopulation (evidence: homosexuality is wide spread among a number of other mammals or species like avialae). humans shouldnt counter that with artificial manipulation such as chauvinist cultural devices in the shape of religious fundamentalism.

  • bb91103

    What about women who enjoy using the other orifice?

  • bb91103

    Ignore him. From my observation, no one think about gay sex and beastiality more than the anti people. As soon as they hear gay marraige they jump right into marrying their pets. They have wacky fantasies.

  • bb91103

    It doesn’t have to do with professional sports. That is why it is important. If you are too stupid to understand why then there probably isn’t much anyone can do for you.

  • Basketballrules

    it was a joke my friend. my lesbian sister and her girlfriend use the word gay in the same context that I did. besides, my comment accurately described the content in the article

  • ballinium

    hey can I marry my brother?

  • Tad

    The “Dumbed Down education system” are those people who want to put creationism in science books.

  • Mike From Spain

    Gay people need to have the same rights as everyone else. Look what was done to Alan Turing, one of the most brilliant mathematic minds of recent times, if not of history – http://www.policymic.com/articles/55949/alan-turing-pardoned-by-the-uk-for-being-gay-50-years-too-late

    If we have been so dumb to drive obviously useful, collaborative and brilliant creative minds into suicide, what happened to people whose social value was not so obvious? Morals and justice aside, we as a society are shooting ourselves in the foot if we put obstacles in the life of talented, gifted people. A subset of gay people will be brilliant, therefore we would be stupid to suppress them and lose the benefits of their work.

  • Chester

    Blazers? More like the Gaysers hahahahaha

  • Lil_Stratboy

    He is right though, marriage was based off of potential for reproduction (or just reproduction) between two beings of the same species. Now it’s just based on attraction. It’s only fair to say that inbreeding and inter-species marriages are not far behind. Which would be “absurd” also.
    And homosexuality is too celebrated these days. The NBA shouldn’t care about it. There are far greater issues it could invest in like gun violence in Chicago, poverty in Detroit, Oklahoma city, education opportunities for some unfortunate ones, and so on….

  • Lil_Stratboy

    it starts with their immediate environment, not the internet.

  • Dagger

    In which culture? Where? When? Why? Are you suggesting that social structures should remain immutable despite new social realities? Can you think of any problems with that idea?

    You need to answer those questions before making blanket statements like “marriage was based off of potential for reproduction.” That is not a self-evident truth, and it does not imply something morally superior to modern arrangements.

  • foothandman

    That’s a lot of ha’s for such a dumb joke.

  • foothandman

    Hey, that’s cool that you’re joking and have a gay sis and all. Still, you should know it’s a derogatory term and the vast majority of people who use it are being disrespectful. I don’t really agree that your comment ‘accurately described’ the content. It’s not ‘gay’ for an organization to endorse a ballot measure. Am I taking this too seriously? Maybe. My point though is that this does matter… it’s a serious issue and a positive thing that Blazers have made this endorsement.

  • foothandman

    ‘starts with’ … ends with… I don’t care. It’s about respect.

  • Lil_Stratboy

    what social realities? What good comes out of gay marriage when at least one of them will be a foster parent to a child?
    I’m not saying it’s a crime to be gay nor if it’s good or bad, I’m saying it’s absurd to get married on such terms.
    Humans are always in search of the apex of their sexual activities and the butt is another one of those sexualized part of the body.
    Homosexuality is just a trend now. And I find my point(and his) about attraction, irrefutable.

  • Roidstrong69

    no they wouldn’t. This is a business. They play to win. Just because they are now Pro Gay Marriage, doesn’t mean they are going to waste money on gay scrubs. They are showing their support by publicly backing a side in a polarizing social issue.

  • RoidStrong 69

    Well, buster. I hear you talking about ‘this is ‘Merica land of the free’ and all that anglosaxon christian bs, You speak about how people should be able to do what they want inthe privacy of there own homes so long as it doesn’t harm anyone, but that they shouldn’t be able to marry because of the sanctity of the holy union between Man and Woman. Just so you know, Gay couples are allowed to raise children and be foster parents RIGHT NOW> This is not barring on Marriage Equality. Also, did it ever occur to you that homosexuals are barred certain rights because of their gender. For example, gay couples who cannot marry lack the same legal backing that straight married couples receive for inheritances

  • initbruv

    Booooo!!!

  • initbruv

    Homosexuality is a trend? Read a f*cking history book man it’s been around since the dawn of time. The difference is that they can be open about it now. You’re talking about it like it’s a choice that people make, but that’s absurd.

    If you think that you could choose to be gay at any time then that means that you are gay. I find everything about sexuality with males disgusting and could not choose to change that. If you can then you are gay and you should embrace your new found identity.

  • Jerome

    There is no wrong orifice … unlike opinions based on fairy tales that don’t even say what you’re claiming.

    Once you get your head out of your pastors orifice you’ll see that there’s a whole world full of people enjoying their lives and living without harming anybody.

    What if, one, day you get in a car accident and two gay paramedics, one male one female, attend you? This is more likely than you think … they would probably save your life even if they knew you are a bigot. See the difference?

  • Lloyd

    I can’t stand this argument. “Just because animals do” isn’t a valid reason to do anything. Did you know that cannibalism is found in thousands of species of animals?

  • Lil_Stratboy

    my new found identity? please enlighten me 0_o

  • initbruv

    I’m saying if you think that homosexuality is a trend you are in essence saying that it is a choice. A person who believes it is a choice is gay in my view because I am as open minded and pro-gay as they come yet I could never make myself sexually attracted to another male. Therefore I’m telling you to check yourself, you understand?

  • Lil_Stratboy

    why? It’s a choice that people just want to try something because they like it. Well I don’t find myself attracted to males either. I find it odd that an excreting organ is so sexualized.
    Some just don’t understand their emotions either but there’s no doubt that some people were unfortunate to be born with biological traits of the other sex.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I agree with the first point. 2nd point i partially agree. 3rd. Is that wrong? 4. You can find people who are in support of marriage to other biological species because their fight is similar to homosexuals. Why do you superimpose animal behavior on humans. When you see a lion “murder” another lion you don’t scream thats murder arrest the lion. When you see a monkey “steal” fruit from another monkey you don’t call that monkey a thief. Why do we call them animals? and what is the purpose of humans right.. to make sure every human is safe, happy, healthy? Humans have morals a sense of good and evil unlike other animals. You can claim its religious indoctrination and that we as humans have progressed from our ancient primitive relatives. However, in terms of ability to grasp language look at how far we have declined from the ability to compose and understand language compared to high school students in the 1900s. One day you’ll understand. Lastly, I apologize if I offend anyone some of my comments are meant to be jokes like when I said that isiah whitehead you join the heat or that crazy unrealistic trades, breaking down teams for certain draft picks but putting out basketball fantasies amongst hoop heads is fun.

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