Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts has been named the celebrity grand marshal for the San Francisco LGBT Pride parade.
Pride officials announced Welts’ selection on Monday, a day after the Warriors’ Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to put them on the brink of the team’s first NBA title in 40 years.
Welts became the first openly gay U.S. sports executive in 2011, shortly before joining the Warriors. At the time, he was president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns.
He has nearly 40 years of experience in the NBA, including four years with the Warriors, nine years with the Suns and 17 years at the NBA league office in New York.
Most recently, Welts has been overseeing all the Warriors business operations, including a planned move from Oakland to San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
“It’s a personal honor for me to serve as a grand marshal for the Pride Parade, but, more importantly, it’s a reflection of how far we’ve come in professional sports,” Welts said in a statement.
“It hasn’t always been easy or willingly embraced, for members of the LGBT community to find their place in the sports world, but things have decidedly changed for the better,” Welts said.
The theme for this year’s Pride celebration, now in its 45th year, is “Equality Without Exception.” The parade will be held on June 28 along Market Street beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Scott Morris, Bay City News