Posts tagged "Sports"


MLB could have its 1st openly gay player on an active 25-man roster soon

There is a gay major league baseball player. The public does not know his name. I don’t, either. He exists, though, and his world is so much different than one year ago.

Back then, there was actually a question of whether athletes would accept a gay player, whether fans would rebel against a man on account of his sexuality. Were we that naïve? Did we have that little faith in ourselves? AfterJason Collins and Michael Sam and the latest brave man to declare his truth in public, Derrick Gordon, it all seems silly, that sports – a place of transformative cultural change where the only necessary credential is talent – would reject someone on account of something so inconsequential to his ability to play.

What a great affirmation that these fears were drowned out by not just tolerance, as if who someone loves is something to tolerate, but welcome. That the two dozen or so ballplayers to whom I’ve posed the question – “Would you be OK with a gay teammate?” – have given some variety of the same answer: As long as he can play.

And that is why the day for baseball is soon coming as it has for the NBA, college basketball, college football and, wherever Sam lands, the NFL. Forget the heteronormative baseball clubhouse. Never mind the predominance of players who come from traditionally homophobic Latin American countries. Ignore the campaign to snuff out anyone who brings excessive attention to himself because it goes against the sport’s long-held code.

Baseball is ready, just as basketball and football were. Players say so, managers say so, executives say so. The momentum is so strong, the support so great and, best of all, the inspiration from Collins and Sam and Gordon so palpable. Divulging sexuality, it turns out, is the furthest thing from selfish; it is an incredibly selfless act, taking on the attention and questions so that not only are others in the future spared but they realize their anxieties aren’t warranted.

All of the concerns about 162 showers would disappear quickly amid a truth that only the willfully ignorant would ignore: Baseball is a microcosm of society, and American society, minus those who prefer to hold sacrosanct one passage of an old book over another, recognizes that blocking a person’s pathway to wholeness and happiness may be the greatest sin of all.

Inside the small circle of people whose quest to demystify sexuality in sports helped this last year turn into such a success, the question of Latin America has come up as a potential boundary. And yet the same was said about black culture in football and basketball, and look at what happened: The three highest-profile male athletes to out themselves all are black. This is not to say a Latin American player will break the boundary in baseball as much as it is to remind ourselves that fears and assumptions often die in the face of evolution.

As for the sport itself, and how it judges itself internally, one would hope the revelation of sexuality isn’t seen as something to draw attention. What once seemed like an unburdening now has turned into a cause, the sort behind which anyone could stand. Collins inspired Sam and Gordon, and each of them will inspire more, and baseball players everywhere will look at the first out major leaguer and feel a sense of understanding, of pride, of confidence that whatever problems he encounters, someone who has gone through the same sorts of things made it to the apex.

There is great power in that, and no sport – no culture – can deny its inevitability.

Baseball is America’s game, and it remains more reflective of modern-day America among its players than any sport. Its diversity is one of its great hallmarks. Such progressiveness would seem to translate rather easily. Glenn Burke, after all, was out to his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates for years, and that was almost 40 years ago.

His life wasn’t easy. He spent six months in a clubhouse that resembled then the same testosterone den it does today. Late last season, before a Sunday day game, a veteran rolled into a road clubhouse about an hour before the game. He was wearing the same clothes from the previous night. About half a dozen teammates gave him a rousing ovation, invited him to a table and asked him to provide details on the woman with whom he’d spent the night.

Of course, this isn’t unique to baseball. This is sports. And this is why if Collins and Sam and Gordon can thrive in such environments, a baseball player can, and will, do the same.

Whoever that is the public still does not know. I don’t, either. When he does meet the world, though, it will be a wonderful moment for him, for those now unafraid because of his pioneering ways and for a sport that’s more than ready.

h/t: Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports

Hank Aaron has hit a home run with those comments. 

h/t: Tom Kludt at TPM Livewire


Dumbest NBA tweet of the day —the week? the month?— goes to…*drumroll*…Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo of Minnesota. (pic via @CJZERO)

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW


Macho Man Rush doesn’t get it.

From the 02.24.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

NEWARK — After a heated meeting Wednesday, the Lakewood Local Schools Board of Education voted 3-2 against hiring outspoken minister Dave Daubenmire as the new varsity football coach.

Board members Forrest Cooperrider and Tim Phillips voted in favor of hiring Daubenmire and members Judy White, Trisha Good and Bill Gulick voted against the move.

All declined comment.

After the meeting, Daubenmire said he was disappointed but not surprised by the result. He read the comments online ahead of time, and he was expecting some strong opposition, he said.

“The sad reality of it is, what those people read online is about the direct opposite of who I am,” Daubenmire said. “It’s sad, (but) the school board made their decision. I believe they did what their hearts told them to do.”

District officials have repeatedly declined to say who the other candidates were for the job. It is unclear when another recommendation might be made.

Daubenmire is a 1971 Lakewood graduate and founder of Pass the Salt, a ministry dedicated to bringing together Christians to be the salt and light of the world, as is stated in the Book of Matthew.

He is a former head football coach at Heath High School and Fairfield Christian Academy, but he is perhaps best known for his time coaching at London High School, where the American Civil Liberties Union accused him of mixing religion with teaching and coaching.

More than 20 people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting Wednesday. Some accused Daubenmire of being a bully, anti-gay and a poor role model for children. Others said he is a great coach and father and an even better mentor. At several points, school board president Judy White had to remind the crowd to keep order and allow people to express their opinions.

Tara Houdeshell was first to take the floor. The Lakewood graduate, resident and mother of four got a standing ovation mixed with boos when she told the school board Daubenmire is a liability the district cannot afford.

“Mr. Daubenmire’s work experience speaks for itself,” Houdeshell said. “Why would our district knowingly accept such a liability?”

Houdeshell said it is school officials’ job to protect allstudents, and hiring Daubenmire would go against that.

“Will Mr. Daubenmire build the confidence of gay young men hoping to play Lakewood football?” she asked. “Will Dave Daubenmire teach his athletes to respect others when he publicly promotes bullying and admonishes homosexuality? … My kids deserve better from you. As a mom and taxpayer, I expect more of you. … I beg of you to vote no.”


This is an excerpt from the commentary:

Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL; says he knows there will be problems… and they’ve already started.

Several NFL officials are telling Sports Illustrated it will hurt him on draft day because a gay player wouldn’t be welcome in an NFL locker room. It would be uncomfortable, because that’s a man’s world.

You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You’re the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft.

You kill people while driving drunk? That guy’s welcome.

Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they’re welcome.

Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away?

You lie to police trying to cover up a murder?

We’re comfortable with that.

You love another man? Well, now you’ve gone too far!


From the 02.10.2014 edition of WFAA’s News 8 at 10:

AMEN to what Dale Hansen’s saying!

Readers of this blog know “Coach” Dave Daubenmire best as the rabidly anti-gay Religious Right activist and full-blown conspiracy theorist who is perfectly willing to defend the infamous “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church while declaring that not allowing Christians to bully gays is itself a form of bullying against Christians.

But what a lot of people may not know is that the “Coach” in his name is quite literal, as he is also a high school football coach … or at least he has been in the past, since he has been fired several times from previous coaching positions.

Given his tendency to get fired, Daubenmire is currently available for hire and, amazingly, he is now the finalist for a head coaching position at a public high school in Ohio.

The people making this decision really ought to watch some of Daubenmire’s videos - not necessarily the ones of him calling for the banning of pornography, but the ones where he lays out his coaching philosophy, such as how he hates dealing with the whiny mothers of his players who are worried about injuries and safety because it is his job to turn his players into manly men and teach them all of just “suck it up!” 

H/T: Kyle Mantyla at RWW


Within hours of University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, an NFL prospect, coming out as gay, Fox News’ Todd Starnes had an apology for his readers:

I owe all of you a massive apology. I thought the Olympics was about athletic competition — not advancing a cultural agenda. I was wrong.

I thought the NFL was about football — not advancing a cultural agenda. I was wrong.

I should’ve learned my lesson after the Rose Bowl Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It’s all about advancing a cultural agenda — no matter the cost.

We are no longer allowed to have fun and enjoy sports or entertainment programs. How sad.

As if it’s a bad thing to expose and fight against the rampant homophobia in Sochi, where a national law makes it “illegal to disseminate information [about homosexuality] to children even if it merely shows that gay people are just like everybody else.”

As if it’s a bad thing for the leaders of a sport that’s virtually synonymous with “manliness” to issue a statement that includes the line, “Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the N.F.L.” suggesting that they will not hold a player’s sexual orientation against him or allow any bullying or intimidation because of it.

None of this “advances a cultural agenda.” None of this “promotes” homosexuality.

Todd Starnes, quit yer fucking whining and get over it! 

h/t: Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist


H/T: IndyStar


See Also: My Daily Kos diary on Mizzou DE and NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam coming out as openly gay



This blog supports #Principle6 and all LGBTQ athletes competing, including all LGBTQ Russians who are suffering intense discrimination before, during, and after Sochi 2014. 

Kudos to UN leader Ban Ki-moon for condemning the harsh Russian anti-LGBTQ laws for what they are. 
And I hope Russia does NOT get a Gold in Hockey. Go USA (or any team except Russia)!

h/t: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

h/t: AlterNet, via Crooks and Liars


imageKeith Olbermann slams Sochi mayor ahead of ‘most tear-stained’ Olympics ever (via Raw Story )

On Monday night, Keith Olbermann dedicated a segment of his ESPN show to naming Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov the Worst Person in Sports. On Monday, Pakhomov told the BBC that his town is ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which begin next week. When…