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National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Announces New Inductees

HallofFameSideProof3It's been almost a year since the first-ever inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame were honored in Chicago. Included were big-name athletes such as Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, Jason Collins, and Johnny Weir.

This year, on July 11, a new crop of athletes and organizations will be honored in The Windy City. Among them will be: baseball player William ‘Billy’ Bean of the San Diego Padres, British diver Tom Daley, and rugby player Mark Bingham — who is known both as the namesake of the Bingham Cup and for his tragic death on United 93 in the 9/11 attacks.

Football fans will note the absence of NFL newbie Michael Sam. While Sam is still green in his career, it's worth noting that the list includes three former NFL players who came out as gay after their time in the league ended: Esera Tuaolo, Wade Davis, and Jerry Smith (deceased 1986, a casualty of the AIDS epidemic).

While some of the most visible inductees are LGBT athletes, organizations (e.g. Nike) and sports businesspeople are also included. As are straight allies — deceased San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (portrayed by Victor Garber in Milk) is also included in the list. The complete "roster" of inductees, via GNN:


John Amaechi, retired NBA player;
 Mark Bingham, rugby player (deceased); Tom Daley, Olympic medal winning diver
; Wade Davis, executive director of You Can Play and retired NFL player
; Fallon Fox, mixed martial artist
; Brittney Griner, decorated collegiate athlete, active WNBA player
; Mayor George Moscone, straight ally, former Mayor of San Francisco (deceased)
; Chris Mosier, founder of transathlete.com
; Nike, corporation
; Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer
; Jerry Smith, NFL player (deceased)
; Stand Up Foundation, anti-bullying non-profit organization
; Gareth Thomas, retired rugby player
; Esera Tuaolo, retired NFL player.


Esera Tuaolo and Brendon Ayanbadejo Discuss Gay Pro Athletes on 'Face the Nation': VIDEO

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Gay former NFL player Esera Tuaolo and NFL free agent and LGBT ally Brendon Ayanbadejo joined Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation this morning to talk about Jason Collins' coming out and what it means for the future of LGBT people and pro sports.

Said Tuaolo:

"What kept me from playing to my full potential is what people need to realize. When you're in the closet and you're living with this crippling secret, you're living with depression, you're living with suicidal tendencies, you're living with blackouts, you're living with stress. That's what I played with, and it was very difficult to play to the best of my ability, to the fullest of my potential when you're carrying all of that with you. What Jason did was absolutely amazing. And I can relate with him when he said when he came out he felt complete. He felt whole."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Esera Tuaolo and Brendon Ayanbadejo Discuss Gay Pro Athletes on 'Face the Nation': VIDEO" »


Esera Tuaolo Arrested

Former Minnesota Vikings player Esera Tuaolo, who came out as a gay man in 2002, was arrested in Minnesota last week for domestic assault and charged with three misdemeanors. Details of the altercation are few but the Pioneer Press sheds some light on the basics:

Esera"According to the incident report, Ramsey County sheriff's deputies were dispatched at 5:45 p.m. Sunday on a report of a domestic assault. Tuaolo is accused of assaulting the person near the 300 block of County Road 96 in North Oaks. It is unclear who the alleged victim was.

Ramsey County sheriff's office spokeswoman Holli Drinkwine said the office would not release further details, and any additional information would have to go through the North Oaks city attorney charging the case. The city's prosecuting attorney could not be reached Friday.

According to court records in the case, a judge gave Tuaolo a domestic abuse-related no-contact order with the victim. Tuaolo was released on $2,000 bail Monday."

John Holler of the "Viking Update" asks a question related to the case: "If the case goes to trial, it will be interesting to see how the judicial process views a case of same-sex domestic violence. Since there aren’t many high-profile same-sex domestic assault cases on the record, this could serve as something of a landmark case."

A court hearing for Tuaolo's case has been scheduled for August.


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Esera Tuaolo on Larry Johnson's "faggot" slur: "What is also crippling to an athlete is hearing slurs like that thrown around like it's just the thing to do. When you use (gay slurs) and you use it in a negative term, it's the same as calling a woman a (expletive). Or the same as calling an African-American the (expletive). It's demeaning to another human being. And it's not right."


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