On Oct. 15, the Atlanta Hawks, College Park Skyhawks and State Farm Arena marched in the 2023 Atlanta Pride Parade with representation from the organization’s team members, friends and family. The Hawks’ team-branded float featuring the mantra “True Comes in All Colors” included rainbow flags and signs of support and solidarity to celebrate diversity and inclusion. The day included thrilling performances by Harry the Hawk, ATL Dancers, and the College Park Skyhawks Southside Crew, who all marched alongside the organization’s Pride float and handed out Hawks-branded Pride t-shirts, mini Pride flags, rainbow necklaces and more to thousands of people throughout Midtown Atlanta.
“As an organization deeply rooted in all things that are True to Atlanta, we take immense pride in joining the LGBTQIA+ community at the Atlanta Pride Parade,” said Vice President of DEI Impact and Strategic Initiatives for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena Alexis Roe. “We firmly believe in the unifying strength of sports, and we stand in solidarity and allyship with our LGBTQIA+ family, celebrating the love and authenticity that truly make our city special.”
The Atlanta Pride Parade stands as the centerpiece of Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest event of its kind in the city. With a remarkable turnout of over 100,000 attendees, the parade commenced at noon, beginning at the Atlanta Civic Center MARTA Station, traveling along Peachtree Street and concluding at Piedmont Park. The Atlanta Pride Committee is Georgia’s oldest non-profit agency serving the LGBTQIA+ community and serves as an advocate of, and resource to, gender and sexually diverse communities in Atlanta and the Southeastern United States.
“As the first professional sports team in the city to march in the Atlanta Pride Parade, the Atlanta Hawks organization truly embodies this year’s theme, ‘Show Up and Show Out!,’” said Steven Igarashi-Ball, director of equity and engagement for the Atlanta Pride Committee. “Atlanta Pride is the largest parade in the city, and it serves as a visible reminder of all that we stand for as an organization and a community, and is a reminder of the unity, visibility and wellness that we seek to foster year-round with our community partners.”
Launched in 2022, the Hawks Pride Council includes external community leaders, partners and entrepreneurs in the LGBTQIA+ community who work with the organization as advocates and liaisons. The focus of the council is to ensure a more inclusive environment and to help the organization adopt policies that create a welcoming environment for everyone. The Atlanta Hawks LGBTQIA+ Pride Employee Resource Group serves to promote LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace and fosters connection between team members who share similar experiences and identities.
In 2015, the Hawks were the first professional sports team in Atlanta to enter a float in Atlanta’s annual Pride Parade. The Hawks have continued to extend support to the LGBTQIA+ community beyond the Pride Parade with the implementation of the annual Pride Night at the award-winning State Farm Arena. The organization continues to highlight community, equality and economic advancement efforts through supporting the Human Right Campaign, OUT Georgia Business Alliance and Lost-N-Found Youth. Last year, the Hawks marched in the 2022 Atlanta Pride Parade along with the popular emcee Patrice ‘Sway’ McKinney hyping up paradegoers and DJ Toni K spinning live from the truck’s interior. Joining the Hawks in the festivities were ‘Your Atlanta Area BMW Centers’ who provided a BMW M440i Convertible to ride alongside the activation truck in the parade.