LGBTI global news 24-7

Nike signs sponsor deal with lesbian basketball star Brittney Griner

Openly gay basketball star signs a 'big-time' deal with the multinational sporting company
History made as Nike back lesbian basketball star.

The American female basketball star, who has recently come out as gay, has signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

Brittney Griner, 22, has said of the deal, 'It's big-time, let's just say that.'

Many have taken the move by Nike to signify the dawn of a new, increasingly pro-gay friendly attitude in professional American sport. 

Earlier this month, basketball executive Rick Welts revealed Nike approached him two years ago in the hope of sponsoring an openly gay professional athlete. 

The corporation hosted its first ever LGBT sports summit in Portland, Oregon in June last year.

He said the first openly gay athlete in US professional sports would be ‘amazed at the additional opportunities are put on the table, not the ones that are taken off.’

Griner spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Maggie Gray in an interview about the importance of being true to yourself and not hiding ‘who you really are’ last Thursday (18 April).

She said: ‘If I can show that I’m out and I’m fine and everything’s OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way.’

Comment on a news story