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St. Louis Rams Coach Says Michael Sam 'Absolutely Not' A Distraction

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Earlier this week we mentioned NBC analyst Tony Dungy saying that drafting Michael Sam would have been a distraction, and we pointed out the hypocrisy in his reasoning given that Dungy was fine with the readmission of convicted criminal Michael Vick.

FisherAs if evisceration by Keith Olbermann wasn't enough, now St. Louis Ram's coach Jeff Fisher appeared on ESPN's radio show Mike and Mike to talk about Sam and said that the openly gay football player was "absolutely not" a distraction.

Said Fisher: "Let's define distraction. There were a couple extra cameras during the early OTAs, there may have been an extra camera yesterday as the rookies reported and went on the field for the first time, but no, it's not."

The audio is unembeddable, but you can find it on ESPN's website here. The audio is in an inconspicuous sidebar about two paragraphs down the article; the auto-playing video above the article is just host Mark Schlereth making excuses for Dungy's behavior.


Openly Gay Former NFL Player David Kopay Remembers His Scandalous Coming Out, Celebrates Michael Sam: VIDEO

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In 1975, David Kopay became the first NFL player, current or former, to come out publicly in the Washington Star. It was a stunning moment for sports, and he later revealed even more--including a one night stand with former Redskin player Jerry Smith--in his memoir, The David Kopay Story. Now, nearly forty years later, Kopay is one of many who are welcoming Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, with open (but concerned) arms. 

The Hollywood Reporter recently wrote about Kopay's experience:

"I was desperate," he says. "I was totally, 'What am I going to do with my life? Can I make a difference?' " He'd hoped his tale...would encourage other pro athletes to come out. But years turned to decades and few had followed suit. Meeting Sam, the gifted defensive end who shattered the last civil rights hurdle in pro sports when he kissed his boyfriend after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May, came as more than just a passing thrill. It was the culmination of a life's work.

One need only consider current attitudes toward gays in sports -- when a celebratory kiss between men can result in an uproar -- to grasp just how shocking Kopay's admission was for the 1970s. And yet somehow his remarkable story has faded over the years. According to columnist Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin, that largely is due to Kopay being eons ahead of his time. "I think it was honestly too early," says Leitch. "It was 1975. In four years, Al Pacino would be making Cruising. People were not ready for an NFL player being gay at all."

DavidKopay2And neither were Kopay's family and friends. Married at the time, he got divorced and was excommunicated by his Catholic mother; she left him with the kind parting words, "I created you and I can kill you." Kopay moved to San Francisco, rubbing shoulders with Harvey Milk and living with Armistead Maupin, then to Los Angeles where he has lived since.

Kopay swims laps daily at nearby Occidental College, regularly hits the Rose Bowl flea market and enjoys attending NFL alumni games and serving as honorary ambassador to the Gay Games. He lives alone, his garage lined with memory boards filled with photos of debauched days spent in New Orleans. Whenever he speaks of past loves, they are invariably of the unrequited kind.

It is understandable then that Sam's decision to kiss his boyfriend after receiving his draft call would dredge up proud but conflicted emotions for Kopay.

"I was a bit unnerved," Kopay admits of watching Sam plant a passionate smooch on boyfriend Vito Cammisano, the pair later smearing cake on each other's faces. "I'm old school, you know? Certainly I felt he had a right to kiss his boyfriend and I was really glad he did. But I was not so happy with the cake in the face. It was a little bit over the top. I just worried about him like, 'Oh, what's the fuss that this is going to cause?'"

Hopefully relatively little, and Kopay seems to admit that he is of a different era. He also took the first, and perhaps bravest step of all.

"I think it was the first brick removed from the wall of homophobia," says Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of Outsports.com. "When Kopay came out, the gay community was just beginning to find its identity. For a portion that didn't associate with the stereotypical gay identity, Dave's honesty was life-changing. I'm sure it saved lives."

Check out an interview with Kopay, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Openly Gay Former NFL Player David Kopay Remembers His Scandalous Coming Out, Celebrates Michael Sam: VIDEO" »


Cristiano Ronaldo Takes a Beauty Break: PHOTO

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The Portuguese footballer shared a bit of his post-World Cup beauty regimen to Instagram earlier today.


Anti-Discrimination 'Task Force' Needed For 2018 World Cup In Russia

FIFA report into anti-gay chants at the World Cup

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has said that a special task force will be needed to deal with homophobia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, reports DNA India.

Although FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff had pledged to use this year’s World Cup as a platform against racism and discrimination, FIFA has awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia despite the implementation of anti-gay laws in the country.

FIFA has also failed to properly address homophobic and racist chants at World Cup fixtures.

Speaking at FIFA’s daily media briefing, Jeffrey Webb, the organization's vice president and head of the Anti-Discrimination Task Force, said:

"It is obvious there is a disconnect between what we in the Task Force deem as racism and discrimination and what the Disciplinary Committee deems as racism and discrimination."

According to DNA India, a proposed Task Force that trained anti-discrimination officers was not accepted by FIFA. Another official said that although there was not enough time to train anti-discrimination officers for this year’s World Cup, training will start for future events.

Watch a report on the investigation of anti-gay chants by Mexico fans, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Discrimination 'Task Force' Needed For 2018 World Cup In Russia" »


Russian Priest Says World Cup Is A 'Homosexual Abomination' Because of Colorful Shoes: VIDEO

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Writing in his column on Christian website Russian People’s Line, Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Shumsky has denounced the World Cup as a “homosexual abomination” because of the brightly colored boots worn by players.

Claiming that the boots resemble the “gay rainbow,” Shumsky goes on to say that “wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women's panties or a bra," reports The Moscow Times.

Also unimpressed with some of the “unthinkable” hairstyles sported by players, Shumsky continues that “the liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination.”

Shumsky’s outburst comes amid allegations of racist and homophobic behavior by fans at World Cup matches and FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia despite the country’s implementation of harsh laws against the “promotion of homosexuality.”

Russia played only three matches in the World Cup, none of which they managed to win.

Watch a report on a protest against homophobia and chauvinism at the World Cup, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Russian Priest Says World Cup Is A 'Homosexual Abomination' Because of Colorful Shoes: VIDEO" »


Vikings Investigation Into Chris Kluwe's Allegations Of Homophobia Nearing Close

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Earlier this year former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe alleged that his contract was not renewed with the team because of his public statements in support of same-sex marriage. The Vikings have stated that their decision to let Kluwe go was due entirely to his performance on the field, a statement that Kluwe claims is false. Kluwe previously stated that were an independent investigation not to corroborate his claims, he would likely sue the Vikings. SB Nation reports that said investigation is nearing completion and the findings are soon to be released.

As The Viking Age points out, journalist Mike Freeman recently tweeted, "I'm hearing Chris Kluwe report could be released very soon and report is favorable to Kluwe":

“Favorable to Kluwe” is vague enough that it could mean a lot of things, but we have to assume that any report generally favorable to Kluwe is going to be generally not-favorable to [Vikings special coordinator, Mike] Priefer. And since Priefer stands to lose more than anyone else if Kluwe’s allegations are found to have merit…well, let’s just say if there’s anyone out there who has reason to be tense, it’s Priefer.

Kluwe made a name for himself in the movement for marriage equality, coming to the defense of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a fellow advocate for gay marriage. Together Kluwe and Ayanbadejo filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in relation to Hollingsworth v. Perry, as a means to express their shared opposition to California’s Prop 8.


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