Monumental Sports & Entertainment celebrates LGBTQ+ pride in the DMV

WASHINGTON, DC (June 3, 2024) – Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), its professional sports teams, foundation and employees support all members of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate Pride Month with great joy. Throughout the 2023-24 fiscal year, Monumental Sports' efforts have donated over $60,000 to LGBTQ+ causes in the DMV region.

Together, the Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, MSE Foundation and Unity, the LGBTQ+-focused and employee-led collective, are engaging in numerous activities to support all who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex or asexual in ongoing allyship. MSE has partnered with Giant and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) on many of this year's initiatives in support of SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders).

“We want to be more than just allies – we are committed advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and work with those who share our commitment,” said Kimberly Harris, Director of Community Health and Social Impact at CareFirst. “Partnering with Monumental Sports and Entertainment is a great addition to our support of local organizations like SMYAL that serve this community and promote culturally inclusive care.”

To kick off Pride Month celebrations, MSE unveiled Pride graphics on Capital One Arena's exterior boards and banners on May 30. Throughout June, Pride graphics will be displayed on rotating exterior boards, visible to thousands traveling to and through downtown DC every day.

MSE will participate in the annual Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 8, in partnership with the Capital Pride Alliance and alongside Giant, the official Pride partner of the Washington Mystics, Wizards and Capitals. Representatives from Monumental Sports will be accompanied by a video truck with the MSE Pride logo and a video highlighting the past year's MSE Pride initiatives. The parade will follow a new route this year, beginning at 3 p.m. at 14th and T Streets NW and ending at Pennsylvania Avenue and 9th Street NW.

Washington Mystics
The Mystics will host their annual Pride Game presented by Giant on June 22. The Mystics Pride Game is an unapologetic celebration and empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community. It will feature in-game content celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, spotlighting community members and featuring messages of inclusion and equality. The Mystics' team shop will also feature new Pride items, including the latest edition of the Sticsclusive Apparel Collection, a new limited-edition apparel collection the Mystics launched this season. Prior to the game, the Mystics will host the second edition of the team's Brunch & Basketball series with a special Pride brunch at Sycamore & Oak. The Mystics also offered a Pride special ticket deal package earlier in the season that included a ticket to the Pride Game and a Mystics Pride fan jersey. During the game, the Mystics and the MSE Foundation will present a $10,000 donation to a local LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization.

“We are excited to partner with Monumental Sports again to celebrate Pride Night at the Washington Mystics game during Pride Month,” said Diane Hicks, senior vice president of operations at Giant Food and executive sponsor of Giant's Pride Business Resource Group. “Giant Food is committed to diversity and inclusion within our company and in all the communities we are privileged to serve, and we are excited to support the diverse voices that make our communities so special.”

Washington Wizards
During the season, the Wizards hosted the team's annual Pride Night presented by Giant on March 29. Before the game, fans were treated to a Ticketmaster-sponsored block party in District E and a special happy hour hosted by Giant, where the first 100 fans received Pride coolers and Pride souvenir mugs. Wizards Pride Night also featured special cherry blossom-themed food and beverages. The Wizards raised over $10,000 for SMYAL as part of their Pride Night. MSEF also donated $10,000 and the 50/50 raffle that night benefited SMYAL. In addition, Giant donated $5,000 to SMYAL.

Washington Capitals
The Capitals celebrated the eighth consecutive Pride Night presented by the Giant team in March. In-game content highlighted members, messages and issues of the LGBTQ+ community. The Capitals' social media accounts featured rainbow avatars and encouraged fans to post on social media using the hashtag #CapsPride. Fans were invited to a pre-game block party in District E. The band Steal the Sky performed and local LGBTQ+ community organizations were represented. In addition, the Capitals shared in-game and social media video content featuring players and Capitals front office staff discussing the importance of equality and inclusion.

A Capitals and MSE Foundation Pride auction featuring signed player-used sticks wrapped in rainbow-colored “Pride Tape” raised $27,375 for SMYAL, with a portion of the funds benefiting Team DC as well as the MSE Foundation. Additionally, Giant presented SMYAL with a $5,000 check to officially launch the fundraiser. Proceeds from the Capitals’ 50/50 raffle on March 20 also benefited SMYAL.

Unity – Employee Resource Group
Under MSE's strategic focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is the Unity Employee Resource Group, which advocates for an environment that engages and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual employees and allies, optimizing their diversity and individuality. Impactful initiatives this year include the launch of an MSE employee pronoun guide, the creation of an LGBTQ+ toolkit, mandatory LGBTQ+ inclusion training for all employees, and a National Coming Out Day clothing drive benefiting the DC Center for the LGBTQ+ Community. As part of MSE's ERG grant program, the organization selected OutCare Health to receive a $5,000 donation.


About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
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