Elisa Padilla, the Nets chief marketing officer and the woman who helped transform the New Jersey Nets to the Brooklyn Nets, writes in The Advocate Thursday that she is gay and proud of it.
“I am standing up, raising my hand, and joining the conversation. I am using my voice not only to demand change but to advocate for LGBTQ respect and inclusion,” she writes in the national LGBTQ magazine. “I am taking action to show anyone who has struggled with their identity that they can achieve their dreams in any profession, in any industry, under any circumstance.”
Padilla, who has been instrumental in pushing a number of fan initiatives, including the Brooklyn Brigade, notes that while she is married to a woman she has been with for decades, she is only now coming out to the world.
“Twenty-five years into my career and after seven years with the Nets, my share-no-details personal mantra has remained the same. To this day, most of my colleagues don’t know that I’m gay, let alone married to a woman who has been my partner in life for 28 years. Until now.”
In fact, she is the lead on the Nets first “Pride Night,” January 25, where the Nets will celebrate LGBTQ inclusion and diversity in general, welcoming back Jason Collins, the two-time Net who in 2013 became the first openly gay athlete in any of the four major pro sports.
“The first team to sign Collins after he came out was the Brooklyn Nets. I was so proud coming to work that day,” she noted. “He is a true role model, and I am honored to stand with him.”
The Nets will also be tipping off an ongoing campaign to spread awareness and support for LGBTQ causes by making a donation to the Trevor Project, the organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
“On Pride Night, the Nets will celebrate diversity and inclusion, the Brooklyn way. Fans will feel the love from the minute they arrive at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, with Barclays Center proudly lit up in rainbow colors.”
- Why I'm Coming Out Now - Elisa Padilla - The Advocate
- Brooklyn Nets chief marketing officer explains why she's coming out ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration - Amara Grautski - New York Daily News