Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

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Posts tagged "Sports"

Major League Baseball appointed Billy Bean, a former player who is now openly gay, as a consultant in guiding the sport toward full LGBT inclusion. This news broke earlier this afternoon.

Bean will offer training to players and staff, designed to educate about LGBT-related issues and to create a more supportive environment in professional baseball, both major and minor leagues.

"As a young man, I silently walked away from baseball for all the wrong reasons, and today I am truly humbled that the Commissioner’s Office has brought me back to lead the effort on inclusion. I will honor baseball’s great tradition, and be the resource that our current and future players need as they embrace their responsibility as role models to our fans," said Billy, who spent six seasons in the major leagues with the LA Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, and San Diego Padres. His last game with the MLB was in 1995, four years before he came out publicly as gay.

Commissioner Bud Selig made this announcement after the All-Star game this afternoon, which also recognized at long-last the life of Glenn Burke, a gay MLB player who passed away in 1995. Glenn’s sister, Lutha, joined Bud and Billy and today’s press conference.

MLB has previously partenered with GLAAD on initiatives like Spirit Day to speak out against bullying and stand in support of LGBT youth. has more.

h/t: Agata Dera at GLAAD


Just before Tuesday night’s All-Star game in Minneapolis, Major League Baseball will make a major announcement about homophobia in baseball. 

Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler is reporting that tomorrow’s announcement “will dramatically shift” MLB’s “ability to combat homophobia and help gay players, coaches and staff in the League.”

A year ago, MLB adopted a new workplace code of conduct that protects players and staff from anti-LGBT harassment. “We welcome all individuals regardless of sexual orientation into our ballparks, along with those of different races, religions, genders and national origins,” MLB commissioner Bud Selig said at the time.

In 2011, MLB added sexual orientation to it’s non-discrimination policy as part of their labor deal with the players union.

It is unknown is Commissioner Bud Selig will make the announcement himself.


Thanks to Mario Götze’s goal in extra time, Germany win the 2014 World Cup trophy. Miroslav Klose may have possibly played his final WC game.

Just shut your fucking mouth, Ann Coulter! 

h/t: Dylan Stableford at Yahoo! News

Let’s roll out the marijuana, pull back the laws, and get people even more crazy about yet another entertainment event.
Fox News’ resident psychiatrist Keith Ablow is “suspicious” that the World Cup is a conspiracy to “distract” Americans.  (via mediamattersforamerica)

(via mediamattersforamerica)


H/T: Travis Waldron at Think Progress Sports


h/t: Julia Lurie and Nina-Liss Schultz at Mother Jones

h/t: David Crary at LGBTQNation, via Associated Press

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association once again brought up Michael Sam’s kiss on her anti-gay radio show this week in order to warn that young people “are being brainwashed in public schools” into homosexuality.

She then read a “great” and “encouraging” letter from a 19-year-old viewer who called Sam’s kiss “gross” and noted “the diseases and mental scarring that homosexuality causes.”

The viewer said he has “given up on sports” due to the “liberal media,” pointing to Sam’s kiss as a sign of the End Times and that Christians might soon be “arrested for proclaiming the Gospel.”

Rios later criticized “ESPN’s brazen forcing of this on the male population” and “blatantly making men stop and think about things they don’t really want to ponder.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: David Badash at The New Civil Rights


Michael Sam, a defensive end for the University of Missouri, was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, making him the first openly gay athlete to be drafted in any of the four major American sports, and putting him on track to be the first openly gay player in the National Football League.

Sam, who was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, went as the 249th pick. He is only the second person ever to hold that title and fall out of the top 33 picks of the NFL draft. The other was Chad Lavalais of Louisiana State University, who was picked 142nd back in in 2004. Before the draft, CBS had Sam’s prospect ranking at 169.

If Sam went so late in the draft because teams were concerned about the unwanted attention that selecting the first gay player, they did not seem to be concerned about such impressions across the board; Zach Mettenberger, who plead guilty to sexual battery after groping a woman outside of a bar, went second in the sixth round of the draft. Prince Shembo, who was investigated in connection with the sexual assault of a woman who soon after committed suicide, was the 139th pick.

Now that Sam has been drafted, he will move onto the next challenge of securing a spot on the roster. He’ll need to make the team over the summer to become the first openly gay player actively in the NFL, and his spot isn’t guaranteed. As Alex Leichenger previously pointed out here on ThinkProgress, “Sam is considered undersized for an NFL defensive end and may have to become a linebacker in the pros…. His pass-rushing ability would be an advantage at outside linebacker, but there will be questions about whether he has the speed to play in pass coverage in the NFL.” Sam also had a fairly bad showing at the scouting combine earlier this year.

Still, some predicted that Sam would have difficulty finding a team that would draft him because of his coming out. One general manager predicted that he would not be drafted at all. And while public statements from teams and players in the league were encouraging, behind-the-scenes talk from people in the league showed doubt that Sam would garner a pick in the draft.

“I just know with this going on this is going to drop him down,” an NFL scout anonymously told Sports Illustrated. “There’s no question about it. It’s human nature. Do you want to be the team to quote-unquote ‘break that barrier?’”

Source: Annie-Rose Strasser for ThinkProgress


The St. Louis Rams drafted Missouri defensive end Michael Sam in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Sam’s been clear that he wants to be regarded as a football player, and he’ll get a chance to do that with a team that’s built one of the toughest defenses in the NFL.

You have to applaud the Rams for this move, but knowing Jeff Fisher and the staff here, they’re all about Sam as a football player.

St. Louis is a relatively quiet media market, tucked away from the national spotlight that can sometimes turn into a circus. They’re also a team well-equipped to deal with the media attention. I give them a hard time for their overly protective approach to who gets access and who doesn’t, but that will at least keep the focus on football.

And congrats to Michael Sam. He’s shattered another barrier in the sports world and the civil right movement as a whole. Now, let’s stop worrying about and discriminating people based on their sexuality.

Sam was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and was named a First-Team All-SEC selection and was a Consensus All-American in 2013 on top of that. He’s a playmaker at the defensive end position, with his best season coming in 2013, with 48 total tackles, 19.0 for loss and 11.5 sacks. He finished his college career with 111 tackles, 32.5 for loss, and 18.5 sacks.

Following the conclusion of his college football career, Sam publicly came out as gay. His selection makes him the first active openly gay NFL player. While in college, Sam’s teammates at Missouri knew about this and were supportive, but it sounds like Sam always intended to come out prior to entering the NFL.

Whatever the case, Sam is being drafted for what he brings on the football field. By all accounts, that’s a solid defensive end prospect with strong burst to pressure the quarterback.

Combine results

Height: 6’2

Weight: 261

40-yard dash: 4.79

Bench press: 17

Vertical jump: 25 1/2

Broad jump: 9’6

20-yard shuttle: 4.70

3-cone drill: 7.80

Unfortunately, Sam’s combine performance wasn’t all-that impressive. His 40-yard dash time was unremarkable for a pass-rusher, and it didn’t help that he whiffed on multiple attempts before finally getting it right. Some have questioned whether or not Sam can be a pass-rusher in the NFL, or if he’d be better suited as a run-stuffing defensive end. He could certainly excel in the latter role, which might be the best fit for him at this point. Sam probably can’t consistently beat NFL tackles to get to opposing quarterbacks.




Get over it, Jack Burkman! Michael Sam (whether he is drafted or not) will hopefully be a good player down the road. 

h/t: Kyla Mantyla at RWW


h/t: Alex Leichenger at Think Progress Sports