The Cleveland Monsters and Cavaliers will celebrate back-to-back Pride Nights Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22.
When Rock Entertainment Group, the umbrella entity that oversees teams like the Cavs and Monsters, as well as the operation of the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, launched its Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion (DEI) team in 2019, one of their main focus areas was community engagement.
“Marching in Pride in the CLE that summer was one of the first events we coordinated, which inspired many of our LGBTQ+ team members and allies to want to do more in the community,” said Kevin Clayton, Cavs vice president of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. “We brainstormed how we could dedicate our building and resources to support them, and with that, Pride Night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse was born.”
Though the Cavs Pride Night has been around the longest, the Monsters are in their second year of celebrating and Cleveland Charge held their first annual Pride Night on Jan. 11.
Cleveland Monsters Pride Night
To celebrate, the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse’s massive 77,110 square foot exterior curtain will be lit up in the colors of the rainbow all weekend.
The Cleveland Monsters Pride Night will be Friday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. during the team’s matchup against the Rochester Americans.
Both teams will use commemorative Pride pucks during warmups which will then be available to purchase through the DASH auction platform. Proceeds from online purchases of a specialty Pride puck will benefit the Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative (CANAPI), a local non-profit that promotes the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community and persons at risk and/or affected by HIV through education, support services, quality housing and advocacy.
Both teams will also sport special Pride Tape on their hockey sticks during the game and several Monsters hockey sticks will be available for auction, also through DASH. Pride Tape is a global, community-based movement created to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports and is a recognized symbol for inclusion in hockey.
Cleveland Cavaliers Pride Night
Those in attendance at the Cavs Pride Night on Saturday when the team plays the Oklahoma City Thunder will get to enjoy a special halftime performance from The Cavs Powerhouse Dance Team as they’re joined by several local drag personalities including — Kardi Redd Diamond, Joliee Blak and Dakota Cox. Members of the dance team and the Cavs’ high-flying dunk team Slam Squad will also be outfitted in Pride Collection gear.
Proceeds from the in-game 50/50 raffle will benefit Pride in the CLE, presented by the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. Fans can also stop by various information desks at the event from organizations like Equitable Advisors and Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce.
Proceeds from the Cavs and Monsters Pride Collections sold in the Team Shop during the events will also go to benefit Pride in the CLE. The Cavs and Monsters Pride Collections are also available online all season long.
Ultimately, Pride Night is part of an extensive, ongoing commitment to maintain and foster inclusivity at Cleveland sporting events and among fans.
“We aspire to be relevant and authentically engaged in all communities and our annual Cavs, Monsters and Charge Pride Nights allow us to recognize and celebrate the voices of our LBGTQ+ community partners,” Clayton said. “Though a lot of hard work goes into making our Pride Nights possible, this is about more than just one night. We are very proud to work alongside such wonderful LGBTQ+ partners to continue to move the needle towards inclusivity for everyone.” 🔥