Basketball Hub




Lesbian Basketball Players Sue Pepperdine University For Discrimination, 'Mental Anguish' - VIDEO

Pepperdine

Pepperdine University basketball players Haley Videckis and Layana White are suing their head coach and the school for alleged civil rights violations regarding their sexual orientation, reports OutSports.

Pepperdine, a private religious school in California which is allegedly in receipt of some public funding, says its purpose is to pursue the highest academic standards "within the context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith."

Back in 2012, the Malibu-based university blocked the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance called 'Reach Out' because Dean of Students Mark Davis said homosexuality is against "God's Will".

Videckis and White claim they were harassed for being in a relationship with each other. They allege the mental anguish ultimately led to a suicide attempt by White.

The two are suing coach Ryan Weisenberg and the university for violating their civil right to privacy and for violations of a 1972 California law which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities.

The complaint alleges that coach Weisenberg said "Lesbianism is not tolerated on this team” and is “a big concern in women's basketball."

In a statement released over the weekend, the university said”

“We take allegations of this kind very seriously. We conducted an immediate and thorough investigation and found no evidence to support these claims. The University remains committed to a diverse and inclusive environment.”

Watch Videckis discuss a game victory back in February, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Basketball Players Sue Pepperdine University For Discrimination, 'Mental Anguish' - VIDEO" »


UMass Player Derrick Gordon Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Play in Division 1 Men's Basketball

Gordon2

University of Massachusetts shooting guard Derrick Gordon made history last night becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in a NCAA Division I men's basketball game, The New York Times reports:

Gordon finished with 17 points as UMass defeated Siena, 95-87, in front of a crowd of 8,187, the largest at Mullins Center to open a season since 1997.

“I went into it like a regular game,” he said. “I’ve been here before.”

Gordon came out as gay back in April in an Outsports profile. Since then, he's amassed quite a following and is often seen sporting a Nike #BeTrue t-shirt. 

In a recent interview with the Boston Herald, Gordon discussed how much it meant to him to see NBA player Jason Collins come out as gay after the 2012-2013 season.

Gordon1“Everything leads to the NBA for me, and I didn’t want my dreams to be shattered because of my sexuality,” Gordon said. “So when I saw him come out, that inspired me.

“I said, ‘If he’s in the NBA and he’s openly gay then maybe I can be the same way,’ ” Gordon said. “And when he played for Brooklyn, I saw a YouTube video of him coming into the game and the whole crowd stood up and applauded. It was, like, man, he has a lot of people supporting him. That did it for me.

Back in May, it was reported Gordon was dating CSI actor Gerrald McCullouch. 

Check out an interview Gordon did with MSNBC after his coming out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[Image via The Daily Collegian]

Continue reading "UMass Player Derrick Gordon Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Play in Division 1 Men's Basketball" »


Check Out The Beautiful Story of Max Lenox, the Army Basketball Captain Raised By Two Gay Dads: VIDEO

Lenox1

This week's Sports Illustrated has the moving and remarkable story of the captain of Army's basketball team and the two gay dads who raised him. Maxwell Lenox, 22, is a senior at West Point and though he's not the star player for the Black Knights, he's been voted captain two years running due to his exceptional leadership abilities and the way he inspires his teammates. “I’ll be lucky if I do half the stuff Max does, become half the leader he is,” says sophomore forward Tanner Omlid. “I want to be like him.”

Sports Illustrated, which made big news last year with Jason Collins' coming out cover, has posted this amazing story on their website, written by S.L. Price with candor, emotion, and a remarkable sense of how much the world has changed since Lenox's adoption. Lenox was born to a crack-addicted mother in Philadelphia in 1992, at the height of the urban drug epidemic. Just three days later, he was adopted by a couple from North Carolina who were eager to start a family: Dave Lenox and Nathan Merrell. Though they had reservations about the unknown challenges of raising a "crack-baby," the bigger problems turned out to be with Merrell's conservative family who was not too thrilled to find out all at once that he was gay, had a partner, and that they were grandparents to a black infant.

Lenox_merrellsIn the touching video which accompanies the story, Merrell struggles to relate how his father denied that Max was his grandchild while his mother, for the first time in her 36-year marriage, actually defied her husband. The whole story is filled with emotional moments like this as the couple faced many struggles raising Max, including Max's difficulties in school and a serious injury that derailed a potential pro career. Now, given how Max has become such a leader, the two dads are thrilled how things have turned out as there's talk their son might make general someday. A truly inspiring story.

Check out a video on Lenox and his dads, AFTER THE JUMP....

And for the full story on Max's incredible journey, head over to Sports Illustrated here

Continue reading "Check Out The Beautiful Story of Max Lenox, the Army Basketball Captain Raised By Two Gay Dads: VIDEO" »


National Association of Basketball Coaches Adds Sexual Orientation to Non-Discrimination Policy: READ

Nabc

The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) has added sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies, reports OutSports.

The new policy reads in part:

“The NABC opposes all forms of discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, sexual orientation or religion. There is no room for such actions in the sport of men's basketball.

“The NABC opposes any action or inaction that has a tendency to cause or is intended to cause emotional or physical harm, an unequal or disproportionate effect, or unreasonable requirement because of any particular trait. Further, the NABC opposes any behavior toward players that is offensive, abusive, belittling, intimidating or threatening.

“...most schools where our members coach have comprehensive anti-bullying policies and procedures, and we encourage anyone who feels that he or she has been a target of bullying to utilize these procedures. Our member coaches are always there to assist players who feel that they have been the targets of bullying.”

Welcoming the decision, Anthony Nicodemo [pictured], the head basketball coach at Saunders High School in New York, who came out last year, said:

Nicodemo“To have the NABC put out such a powerful statement on inclusion shows the importance of the issue. I have been a member for over 15 years and the organization was so supportive with the concerns. So many coaches will receive the statement and I hope it continues to promote a change in athletics overall. It really makes me proud to be a member."

According to Bob Walsh, the new head men's basketball coach at the University of Maine, education around the area of homophobic discrimination and bullying is needed:

“Guys are generally unaware of maybe some hurtful comments or phrases that they use that they might consider mainstream. People are aware of something that's racially offensive, but they're less aware of how it affects [people who are gay]."

Walsh added that although he hears the word "faggot" regularly around basketball, he addresses it every time:

"It's an accepted insult that's considered funny by some people. I hear it a lot in team settings with males, and I immediately address it. I help them understand the connotation and the hurt in that word. I think that's where you start the conversation."

Although the policy has been criticised for its lack of inclusion of gender identity and expression, its hoped that these issues can be addressed in the future.

Earlier this year we reported that Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay NCAA Division One male basketball player, is now dating former CSI actor Gerald McCullouch.

Read the NABC statement in full, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "National Association of Basketball Coaches Adds Sexual Orientation to Non-Discrimination Policy: READ" »


Iowa High School Coach Describes 'The Power Of Coming Out' To Homophobic Friend

Writing on OutSports, Evan Risk, a junior high school track & cross-country coach in rural Iowa, has explained what happened when he came out to his homophobic friends.

RiskRisk explains how at a basketball game, a friend told him about a “great” idea to change the word “beer” to “queers” in a team chant.

The friend suggested that "In heaven there is no beer that's why we drink it here, and when we're gone from here our friends will be drinking all the beer” could be changed to “In heaven there are no queers, that's why we kill them here, and when we're gone from here our friends will be killing all the queers.”

Risk continues:

“I thought about what I should do for the next few days. Then we went to another basketball game and he said to me during the game, ‘Yeah in my town people say we never had any gay people but that's not true, we killed them all before they were eight.’

“After the victory that night, he sang the killing queers song. Just as before, I had no idea what to do. I didn't say or do anything at the time.

“Regardless of the outcome I knew I had to come out to him. I didn't want to hear the homophobic comments anymore.”

Risk says that when he finally came out, his friend replied:

"I'm really glad you told me. And I'm sorry about what I said earlier.  I'm really glad I know that about you. We're definitely still friends."

Describing how coming out had a positive effect on his friend, Risk says:

“After I came out to him in December we remained friends and on the last game of the season his roommate came with us the final game in March.  

“[The roommate] was talking about something the other team was doing and said ‘That's so FUCKING GAY.’

“I put my head down, not sure exactly what to say.

“My other friend quickly chimed in - ‘Don't say that. Don't say that word.’

"That is the power of coming out."

Check out Risk's full story over at Outsports HERE.

 


Judge Tosses Out Anti-Gay Suit Against Houston Rockets

Earlier this year, food server Rasean Tate filed a lawsuit against the Houston Rockets, charging that several of the team's players taunted him with anti-gay slurs before a game in 2013. Tate was setting up catering in the Rockets locker room when he alleges he was harassed with ugly words and phrases such as "get this f—– out of here!" and "He’s trying to catch a sneaky-peeky!" He says he complained to management but instead saw his work hours cut and was then eventually fired from his job.

HrThis week, a Brooklyn judge rejected Tate's claim against the Rockets. The New York Daily News reports:

Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled Monday that since Rasean Tate was not a Rockets’ employee, there is no basis to sue the team for the alleged retaliation that ensued after he complained to his employer, Levy Restaurant Holdings, about the harassment. Tate claims he was barred from working in the locker rooms and his overtime was curtailed.

However, the judge ruled that Tate could pursue a case against the catering company he was employed with at the time of the incident: Levy Restaurant Holdings.

Weinstein said the suit can proceed against Levy. “We respect the judge’s decision but it doesn’t take away the culpability of what Houston Rockets players and staff did in the locker room that day,” said Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Mesidor.

“The comments were discriminatory and they happened.”

Specific players were not named in the original lawsuit.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged