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

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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...

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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.


'How It Got Better' for Jason Collins: VIDEO

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Jason Collins appears in a new episode of the "How It Got Better" series, joining Tegan and Sara, Jane Lynch, Tim Gunn, George Takei, and Laverne Cox in the story series which dives a bit deeper into the lives behind out and proud public figures.

In the inspiring clip, Collins talks about growing up as a twin in L.A., his entrance into sports, realizing he was gay at 16 and trying to fit in while not feeling right about it (he describes it as "having a CIA cover story and you just believe it"), how Matthew Shepard's murder influenced him, a trainer he saw in an 'It Gets Better' video, finally coming out to his family, his jersey #98, and his road to happiness.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Donald Sterling Digs Himself a Deeper Hole in Anderson Cooper Interview: VIDEO

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Last night CNN aired the full Anderson Cooper interview with banned-for-life LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, none of which helped Sterling out of the hole he has dug himself following the release of a recording in which he told his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games or appear with them in photos.

Some of Sterling's most jaw-dropping comments last night were about Magic Johnson:

"What has he done, can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?...He's got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anyone in South LA?...Well, what kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ole Miss Basketball Star Boycotting ESPN Over ‘Nasty’ Michael Sam Kiss, Backtracks Following Outrage

Marshall henderson

Former Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson woke up Monday morning and decided the best way to start his week was by sharing with the world his thoughts on ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam’s emotional reaction to being drafted into the NFL.

Tweeted Henderson:

Shortly after Henderson’s initial tweet went viral, he sent out a series of additional tweets to elaborate on his homophobia before doing some serious backtracking and claiming it was all just a psychology project for a friend.

Feel free to head over to Henderson's Twitter page to read the hilariously panicked stream of consciousness in full.

CBS Sports adds that although Henderson no longer plays college basketball, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork has already tweeted his disappointment with the school’s former star.

Luckily, Henderson is not expected to be drafted into the NBA this June.

This is also not the first time that Ole Miss has had to deal with homophobia among its students. Towleroad readers may recall last October when 20 Ole Miss football players were involved in a mass heckling incident at a University of Mississippi production of The Laramie Project, with the players calling cast members 'fags.'


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