The Miami Heat handed it to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday in the NBA East Conference finals second game, and breaks in the action featured the usual: commercials for sports drinks. Beer. Razors. Cars. Deodorant. Oh, and a public service announcement on gay slurs and why you shouldn't use them:
Daryl Presgrave, the interim communications director at GLSEN, says the group was approached by the NBA last year, and the resulting partnership is vital in reaching an important demographic: boys. "The first wave of TV spots we did featured Wanda Sykes and Hilary Duff," he says. "With that, we were more successful in reaching young women. When the NBA opportunity came about, we were thrilled, because this would allow us to get the message in front of millions of young men." The GLSEN PSA featuring Hill and Dudley will air throughout the NBA playoffs.
And who, you ask, is one of their most vocal supporters? Charles Barkley, who has (for once) been using his loudmouth tendencies for good. "I've been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can't be in for any form of discrimination at all," Sir Charles recently told a DC sports-talk radio station. And if a pure argument for human equality doesn't motivate listeners, Barkley said, then maybe they should honor that highest of all sports values, judging folks by their athletic merit: their ability to box out, rather than their decision to come out. "I'd rather have a gay guy who can play," he said, "than a straight guy who can't play."