The NBA is one of the biggest sports organisations in the world and has a powerful voice when addressing matters off the court due to the large global fanbase it garners.
The Association attracts fans from all walks of life and is constantly striving for ways to reach out to them.
The U.S. government recently officially declared June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month and the league has thrown its support firmly behind it.
In partnership with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the league has introduced a new line of apparel that features all 30 team logos in rainbow colours to celebrate the Pride Month. The NBA and GLSEN have had a multi-year partnership since 2011.
According to SB Nation’s Outsports, it is the first time a men’s professional sports league has released official apparel in support of LGBT pride.
This may be the first time a professional sports league has created pride t-shirts for every single team but it isn't the first time an individual team has done so.
Both Major League Baseball and National Hockey League previously released official rainbow gear in support of LGBT pride for multiple teams in their respective leagues.
In football, Spanish second division outfit Rayo Vallecano - who were in Spain's top division at the time - unveiled a rainbow kit in 2015 to tackle discrimination.
“Professional sports showing up for LGBT people is one of the biggest cultural developments of the last decade, and really the last five years,” GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard told Outsports Tuesday.
“Having this be a league-wide initiative, knowing any LGBT fan in the country can choose to celebrate their team and themselves with one of those shirts, that’s a whole new thing.”
The t-shirts are being sold exclusively on Teespring, and all proceeds go to GLSEN.
"Our first collaboration with the NBA was a success, so we truly are excited to partner with the League again, this time for a great cause," said Morrie Eisenberg, Teespring VP of Business Development & Partnerships. "We're thrilled to work with the NBA and GLSEN to bring life this collection to life and help fans around the country celebrate PRIDE month in a unique and creative way."
This move by the NBA is the biggest LGBT initiative in sport and once again outlines the league's desire to promote equality.
The WNBA, which has openly embraced the LGBT community, also announced the start of WNBA Pride for the third consecutive season.
The NBA outlined its support for the LGBT community after condemning an anti-LGBT law was passed in North Carolina earlier this year.
Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that the 2017 All-Star game that is due to take place in Charlotte, will be moved to a different location if the law stands.