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Harvard Wrestling Team Comes Out as LGBT Allies for National Coming Out Day

(images lucas freitas, the harvard crimson)

Harvard's wrestling team made a huge show of support for LGBT rights yesterday on National Coming Out Day, wearing t-shirts and pins in support of a gay non-resident tuto rand their LGBT peers, the Crimson reports:

According to wrestler David J. Lalo ’13 (above, left), it was a non-resident tutor in Lowell House, Robert Joseph “R.J.” Jenkins, who inspired the team to participate in National Coming Out Day. “[R.J.] has made a tremendous impact across our team,” Lalo said. “We wanted to show him we support the LGBT community.”

Jenkins, who is openly gay, said that he casually brought up the idea of wearing the pins one day while speaking with several athletes in the Lowell dining hall. He said the men responded positively to his proposal.
“I started to imagine it as an opportunity for them to come out as allies,” he said. “To think about a day for allies to come out and say, ‘I accept these people in my life. I accept them for who they are.’”

Said team captain Walter Peppelman in a press release obtained by Towleroad: "The Harvard Wrestling family believes that it is important to send a message of hope, love, and acceptance to the Harvard community. Today is also an opportunity for us to begin to break down some of the negative stereotypes attached to our sport and to athletics in general. We want to show that the members of Harvard Wrestling love and respect individuals for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation and pledge to do our best to make them feel at home at Harvard."

One more shot of the whole team, AFTER THE JUMP...

On National Coming Out Day, Athletes Come Out as Allies [the harvard crimson]


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  1. Hooray for the hot guys on the Crimson wrestling team!

    Posted by: Charley | Oct 12, 2011 1:27:10 PM

  2. Our years of indoctrination is finally starting to pay off! lol

    Posted by: Homo Sapien | Oct 12, 2011 1:42:28 PM

  3. Very sweet and such nice boys. Good for them and good for us. Always good to get some good news.

    Posted by: justme | Oct 12, 2011 1:53:35 PM

  4. Athletes at Harvard need tutors? There are no scholarship athletes at Harvard. Why the tutors?

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 12, 2011 1:55:49 PM

  5. Let me be the first to say: If any of you guys are having trouble with your girlfriends, I'd be willing to give you a helpful hand, no strings attached.

    Its the least I can do.

    Posted by: Spudger | Oct 12, 2011 1:55:56 PM

  6. Very nicely done, gentlemen. Thank you.

    I posted a link of this over on Sam's blog at http://samisblue.wordpress.com

    I think he and his other readers will really appreciate the show of support from other athletes.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Oct 12, 2011 1:56:38 PM

  7. Very nicely done, gentlemen. Thank you.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Oct 12, 2011 1:57:03 PM

  8. This made my day - Thanks Harvard Wrestling Team

    Posted by: Fred | Oct 12, 2011 2:01:44 PM

  9. @Jerry, "tutor" is the term at Harvard for someone who is basically an academic or social advisor. They advise everyone in a given residential house, for example.

    Posted by: Feral | Oct 12, 2011 2:02:44 PM

  10. Such a nice and kind way to show support. No wonder they study in Harvard.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Oct 12, 2011 2:08:50 PM

  11. It'll be a GREAT day when men like these are the ones running this country. A GREAT DAY!!

    Posted by: Edd | Oct 12, 2011 2:10:52 PM

  12. This is great, those guys are terrific. What's more you know at given times they have been cruised or hit on by other guys, and they are not freaked out, homophobic or obsessing about showers. They are really great guys.

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 12, 2011 2:16:09 PM

  13. Having frequented Harvard in my recent college years, wouldn't be surprised if some of these guys were on the DL.

    Posted by: Sam | Oct 12, 2011 2:21:24 PM

  14. This the same group that does the underwear run in the winter?

    Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2011 2:35:12 PM

  15. shorts....tightening.......

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Oct 12, 2011 2:40:24 PM

  16. Thank you Harvard wrestlers.

    Posted by: acorlando | Oct 12, 2011 3:16:57 PM

  17. What's a "tutorand"?

    Posted by: anonymous | Oct 12, 2011 3:32:12 PM

  18. Well done to this new generation.......you Harvard dudes are inspiring.
    Thank you.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 12, 2011 3:42:22 PM

  19. why not drop the team a note of appreciation. it took me two clicks to get to their website, and i'm going to go say thanks.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Oct 12, 2011 4:03:55 PM

  20. This is great. And to the posters talking about how hot they are... way to go to perpetuate the predator stereotype. We'll get real far.

    Posted by: T | Oct 12, 2011 4:26:06 PM

  21. @ T and Sam: Good heavens! Why on earth should appreciation for a person's good looks label one as a predator? By the same token, why on earth should support for gay athletes suggest that those expressing the sentiment are on the DL? Can't you folks say or think something original? Truly, you're both exposing your own demons in such claims. The appreciation of beauty doesn't necessarily imply the desire to have sex, any more than support for an ideal confesses one's complicity in that behavior. Should we presume the same patterns for both of you?

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Oct 12, 2011 5:19:02 PM

  22. The good news is that the team captain is majoring in Government. One hopes he'll be running for POTUS one day!

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 12, 2011 5:30:29 PM

  23. This is awesome.

    (This is in great contrast to the widespread hate I experienced when I went to college in the '80s. I'm lucky I wasn't a suicide, myself.)

    Ivy League schools generate many future leaders, of course.

    This is likely to shake and disturb Peter LaBarbera down to his alleged soul. Maybe it's best for him that he not know about it.

    Posted by: human bein' | Oct 12, 2011 7:14:00 PM

  24. @ Chuck:

    Sexualizing allies is poor strategy.

    Posted by: T | Oct 12, 2011 8:06:53 PM

  25. Who even knew Harvard men engaged in such a downmarket blue-collar sport? Crew(rowing) and swimming and tennis, yes, but sweaty grappling? OK, that was pure sarcasm. Seriously, the Ivies get it but don't expect highly rated college wrestling teams (like Nebraska which had two wrestlers kicked out for doing gay internet erotica) to hold similar views.

    Posted by: Contrarian | Oct 12, 2011 11:08:58 PM

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