OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Wednesday night's match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors is more than just a game. It's also a chance for those who are out and proud to feel like they belong.
"I think sports serves that purpose of being a focal point of conversation on subjects on we have difficulty discussing," says Golden State Warriors President & COO Rick Welts.
He's also the first high ranking professional sports executive to come out publicly telling the world he's gay. Welts wants fans to know the Warriors are an all-inclusive organization.
He says any night a group is highlighted is important and to do so with a championship team brings national exposure. "It adds immensely to how people view the world and how others around them frame issues like this as well as many other issues in our society," says Welts.
"It really raises visibility for children families athletes or not. It just important to have role models and to know that professional sports embrace people to be their authentic self," says Gary Virginia of San Francisco.
Pride night at Oracle wouldn't be complete without halftime performance from Cheer SF. The team is made up of members of LGBTQ community and their allies.
It's the second time some members of the team were honored by the Dubs. The first time was back in 2010 when the Warriors weren't as good. "They didn't have quite the fan base it is now. So it's really great that the Warriors invited us back now that have a huge fan base to really support the LGBTQ community," says Cheer SF member Alice Liu Jensen.
Many here in the LGBTQ community want to remind people that they're just like everybody else.
Enjoying the game, rooting for their favorite players and cheering the Dubs to victory. "We're in every part of life and we're just like anybody else. We want the team to win and we want to have a good time and be accepted as who we are," says Virginia.
"Everybody's welcomed here and we want everybody to have a connection to Warriors basketball and have it be a place where everybody can come and celebrate," says Welts.
The Warriors beat the Raptors 117-112.