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John Amaechi Hub



04/19/2007


Amaechi: 'Not The Job Of Sports Stars In The Closet To Come Out'

In an apparent response to Lord Browne's essay in The Guardian this past Thursday, the paper takes on the coming out of high-profile figures and wants to know if revealing your homosexuality is a "career killer." While being gay has become "a non-issue" for politicians (at least those in the UK), many people in sports and entertainment have remained closeted until they've reached a certain level of success and even then those are few and far between. Ricky Martin and Gareth Thomas are both used as examples.

Attitude magazine editor Andrew Todd: "I think that if Ricky Martin had come out in 1999, I don't think he would have had the career that he has had. In Hollywood, there is still a message that you can't be gay."

Am Some athletes, such as openly gay former professional basketball player John Amaechi, are now suggesting that pro ballers should not even be pressured to come out of the closet. Amaechi told the Manchester Evening News:

“I get into trouble sometimes with the gay community by saying it is not the job of sports stars in the closet to come out. That is not how change happens. For an under-prepared and psychologically stunted individual who plays sports at a high level to come out before they are ready is like being born prematurely. Unequivocally, being out is better than staying in, but those who do come out need support.”

When speaking to The Guardian, he expanded upon those thoughts:

"I wish the environment was such that more people felt they could come out. It's absolutely amazing to me that some people think that not coming out is a weakness of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people, whereas instead it's because of a hostile culture. It's never the responsibility of the minority to make the majority change."

While it may not be the responsibility of the minority, sometimes the minority has no choice but to take on that responsibility.

Related, Amaechi has just become a patron LGBT History month in the UK which will be observed in February.


News: Martina Navratilova, Asteroid, Net Neutrality, Adam Lambert

Road Virginia Governor McDonnell ripped for celebrating Confederate History Month.

RoadMartina Navratilova diagnosed with breast cancer. Expected to make full recovery: "I cried. It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it's completely out of my hands."

BaldazzleRoadWould you "baldazzle" yourself? "Levine's latest work is a Swarovski crystal headpiece which he calls his best design yet -- and may give Jennifer Love Hewitt's vajazzle a run for its money. It includes 1,000 crystals that are painstakingly placed one by one onto his scalp."

RoadHe dreamed a dreamthe male, Taiwanese answer to Susan Boyle.

Road  Newly-discovered asteroid to pass close to Earth on Thursday.

RoadJanice Dickinson to OUT magazine: "The gays need more money. My gays need more money for AIDS and AIDS research. Elton John, pediatric AIDS -- we need to find a cure for AIDS. I’m obsessed. Here’s the deal: I love my daughter, she’s out there, Mother’s Day is coming, Mother’s Day to all you queers, but we need to find more money for AIDS. That is why I decided to do music -- to raise money for AIDS, more research, and the cure for fucking AIDS. Thank you."

RoadDiffering accounts of anti-gay hate crime complicate case of Brooklyn man who faces deportation.

RoadSt. Vincent's hospital in Manhattan to close. One of first hospitals with dedicated services for HIV/AIDS patients.

RoadFinal ruling in Malawi gay couple's case coming May 18: "The court is now awaiting written submissions from both prosecutors and defence lawyers for the two accused after the couple chose to remain silent. Khumbo Magwira a court official said the magistrate has warned the two parties that although he values the submissions, he will still make his ruling even in the absence of them."

RoadMTV casting for a new bunch of Jersey Shore Guidos.

Hope  RoadCourt rules against Shepard Fairey in AP "Hope" case: "U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ruled in favor of The Associated Press in most of its requests for evidence, including when Fairey's lawyers first knew the AP had asserted that it holds the copyright to a photograph the image was based on. He said lawyers must disclose relevant documents that were deleted or destroyed from Fairey's files and when the deletions or destruction occurred.

RoadAdam Lambert to mentor American Idol contestants next week. Twitter: "Even though I'm just at the start of my recording career, I hope to lend some insight as one who's been thru the Idol adventure. Excited!!"

RoadUK conservative party leader David Cameron urged to explain party's stance on gay rights.

RoadJohn Amaechi slams Cameron: "As a black, gay man (amongst many other things) I was horrified that the only remotely brown face of Conservative power - and one ostensibly in charge of our societies ‘social action’ couldn’t even spit out words in support of equality. “I can only conclude, that should Cameron and his remarkably un-evolved group take power that LGBT people will be a big part of his ‘great ignored’."

RoadThose Hamms: Mad Men cast and crew perform Bye Bye Birdie.

DolceRoadHercules presents luscious slabs of Dolce & Gabbana (site nsfw).

RoadWinona Ryder's comeback begins again.

RoadConstance McMillen does come from the meanest town in Mississippi. Classmate: "IAHS is one of the top schools in the state and I’m proud of that, and I’m proud that we took a stand and just said you know what? forget it, we have just as much right as you do to have a party for ourselves. So we did, and now we’re getting flack because poor Connie’s ego got a bit of bruising. She’s playing the lesbian card to prove she ALWAYS gets what she wants. This time, we didn’t just let her."

RoadJane Fonda not proud of her plastic surgery.

RoadFCC loses big in net neutrality case: "The ruling basically tells the FCC that it has no authority to regulate the activities of internet service providers, just as the agency prepares to launch a nationwide broadband agenda."

RoadMore on Fire Island Pines and its new owners.

RoadSanta Rosa, California approves gay and lesbian retirement community: "Initially, there were accusations some of the opposition was fueled by homophobic opposition to a retirement community geared to gays and lesbians, accusations that eventually dissipated."


News: Harvey Milk, Mount St. Helens, John Amaechi, Lacrosse

 road Oneonta State University Lacrosse captain: I'm gay.

 roadTulsa minister speaks out in Uganda, against "kill the gays" bill: "It is like a genocide of sorts. People are scared but today they feel solidarity with each other and those of us from abroad who have shown their support."

Brits_gaga  roadLady Gaga arrives on red carpet at Brits.

 roadMadonna to direct film about American socialite.

 roadHarvey Milk's Castro camera shop may soon get plaque it deserves. Milk Foundation plans events for first Harvey Milk Day: "City leaders have been meeting with Milk and Colby since December to map out the various celebrations planned for Milk Day. While the Masonic Auditorium has donated its space for the awards show, which will be followed by a dance, it is estimated the planning committee needs to raise at least $100,000 in sponsorships to pay for the weekend's worth of events."

 roadProp 8 defense attorney Kenneth Starr becomes President of Baylor University.

 roadMarc Jacobs' husband Lorenzo Martone clenches his glutes for New York magazine.

 roadZac Efron hangs ten.

 roadBode Miller hangs to the right.

 roadGawker's guide to all gay men.

 roadJay-Z disses 'We Are the World' remake: "I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: 'We Are the World,' I love it, and I understand the point and think it's great. But I think 'We Are the World' is like [Michael Jackson's] 'Thriller' to me. I don't ever wanna see it touched."

Mtsthelens   roadMan falls into crater of Mount St. Helens: "Rescue crews in Washington state will try again Tuesday to get to a hiker who fell 1,500 feet into the crater of Mount St. Helens volcano. The 52-year-old hiker was with another hiker Monday afternoon at the summit, near the edge of the crater, when the accident occurred...The man was posing for a picture when he fell into the volcano, said Chief Tom McDowell, who headed up one of the rescue teams."

 roadMaterial Girl fest takes place in NYC.

 roadHarold Ford Jr. to "walk into lion's den" at talk for Stonewall Democratic Club in New York next Wednesday: "According to Algaze, Ford's invitation to speak to Stonewall came as the result of his serendipitous meeting the train en route to Albany with one of the club's board members, Christopher Lynn, who was until recently chief counsel to Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr." Activist group plans protest.

 roadProduction company casts for real-life Will & Grace.

 roadAir passenger takes swing at Mitt Romney.

 roadVideo: Jimmy Kimmel's Lost parody.

Latinamerica  roadBlabbeando has a great wrap-up of all the Valentine's Day gay demonstrations in Latin America.

 roadNew York Rangers marriage proposal fail was a sanctioned hoax: "The 'Blueshirt Bride' marriage proposal on Valentine's Day from 'Nick' to Melissa" that ended with 'Melissa' storming off and gaining national attention through YouTube, The Huffington Post and 'Inside Edition,' not only was fake but a source confirmed Monday the couple actually was actors hired through an agency and designed to be part of the in-game entertainment."

 roadTorchwood action figures.

 roadTens of thousands of organic compounds found in new analysis of meteorite that hit Australia in 1969: his stuff basically freezes a record of some of the earliest chemistry taking place in the solar system that we have access to."

 roadJohn Amaechi: Sporting world must help athletes out of the closet. "I personally have spoken to 10, 12 current professional footballers who are gay, they exist, I promise you. As it happens none of them have asked me if they should come out. But if they did, I would tell them not to. I'm not a gay right activist. I don't insist that they be a Joan of Arc. Why? Because that is what would happen: they would get burned at the stake. And how does that help anyone?" Also: We must redefine what it means to be a man.


Watch: UK Football Association's Anti-Homophobia PSA

Earlier this week I posted about an anti-homophobia video produced by the Football Association set to premiere at Wembley Stadium this week which was pulled at the last minute, inspiring criticism from gay rights groups over the FA's commitment to fight anti-gay behavior at matches.

Fa  The campaign, which was in development for two years, features a football fan on his way to his office, hurling anti-gay slurs in the workplace and on the street, and asks, 'if that kind of language is not permitted in those situations, why should it be permitted at a football match?'

The Guardian reported:

The decision has also sparked a debate within the gay community about whether the shocking video was the right strategy. Tatchell agreed that Ogilvy's approach was effective but said he would have preferred a more "uplifting, MTV-style" video featuring high-profile players and criticised the FA for not doing more to sign them up.

But John Ameachi, the gay former NBA basketball player, was scathing about the clip's content and what it said about the attitudes at the top of English football.

"Football can't shock fans out of being bigots – this process requires a highly strategic, multi-modal approach, not to mention a significant investment," he wrote on his blog, also criticising the "cheap" £10,000 budget. "Ninety seconds of bad language that will only be seen on the internet is not a solution to the problems faced by football and the concept of trying to create a 'viral video' to combat homophobia in football feels crass at best."

Watch the spot as well as a news report on the controversy, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via afterelton)

Continue reading "Watch: UK Football Association's Anti-Homophobia PSA" »


ESPN Produces NBA Shaq Ad with Homophobic Undertones

Fistkiss

ESPN has produced a commercial for NBA on ESPN that, while not overtly bashing gays, contains undertones that can be construed as homophobic. The ad features NBA commenter Mike Breen and Shaquille O'Neal in the NBA on ESPN van. After Breen shoots a basket he asks Shaq for a fist bump which he calls a "fist kiss."

Fistkiss_2Replies Shaq while physically moving away from Breen on the sofa: "No fist kiss, no fiss love, no fist hump. None of that. You're a weirdo man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting."

First of all, when has anyone ever called it a "fist kiss"? The term itself seems contrived simply for the dramatic purpose of causing Shaq's "icky" reaction. Anyway, aside from all that, the commercial is moronic at best.

Former NBA player John Amaechi told AfterElton: "I think the ad is in poor taste; it just seems like another signal of yet another flagging, unimaginative, desperate, clutching-at-straws marketing department grasping for the lowest common denominator. It seems so out of character to ESPN ads of old. It makes me feel disappointed, but not angry in anyway...the ad itself is just too tenuous to even bother getting riled about. The character's reaction to the "fist kiss" is of course homophobic, the subtext is that a man asking another man for any kind of kiss, even a 'fist kiss' should be met with repulsion - I am surprised Shaq went anywhere near this ad, given I don't think that would be his true intention or belief; but as a player, I too would have disparaging words to say about someone calling 'fist bumps' anything like "fist kisses" - simply because it's massively dumb ."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Related
Shaquille O'Neal Wants Kobe to Tell Him How His Ass Tastes [tr]
Love Shaq: Shaquille O'Neal assists Miami Beach police in apprehending gay basher [tr]
Critic Hits Out at Ad Agency Head Over Homophobia [tr]

Continue reading "ESPN Produces NBA Shaq Ad with Homophobic Undertones" »


News: John Amaechi, Clinton, Iowans, Kenny Chesney, India

road.jpg Former pro basketball player John Amaechi is blogging from Beijing!

Heathroad.jpg BrightSide: Restaurant/bar funded by Heath Ledger before his death to open in Brooklyn.

road.jpg Murdered trans woman Angie Zapata mourned in Colorado.

road.jpg The Atlantic publishes a whole bunch of Hillary Clinton's campaign memos. Here's some of the reaction...

road.jpg Will Britney Spears attempt it again at the VMAs?

road.jpg Will John Edwards come around now on gay marriage? "Asked about his position on same-sex marriage a year ago, John Edwards said that he 'personally [does] not' support gay marriage, citing his religious beliefs as basis for his opposition. Even without the hindsight we have recently acquired about Edwards' own marriage, this was the response of a bigot. We now know that as with most bigots, Edwards is a hypocrite. As he was spewing inane statements about being "on a journey" on the issue of gay marriage, he surely had to remember the journey that lead him just months earlier to break his civil obligations and spiritual vows in his union with his wife Elizabeth."

Swaggerty_morganroad.jpg The Sioux City Journal profiles Chuck Swaggerty and Jason Morgan, a gay couple who are not only parents but plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage case making it through the state's court system: "Here we are, 10 years together, two kids together and yet somebody can be married for a month and they can have insurance at their jobs and we can't. But it's really more than that. ... Marriage, it is really more about love and family."

road.jpg Provincetown business owners take sides over "family week": "Family Week, which just ended here, is causing a turf war between different local businesses: those who benefit from having several hundred children and their parents pushing strollers through town and those who most definitely do not."

road.jpg The extent to which, unfortunately, some people, even law enforcement, associate gays with child molesters was illustrated in this incident which happened at a Fire Island resort town over the weekend (not one of the gay resort towns).

Polarbearroad.jpg Wild Kingdom: Polar Bear remains found in shark's stomach: "...they are unable to say whether the shark attacked and ate the bear or whether it simply scavenged a bear's carcase."

road.jpg Kenny Chesney is an athletic supporter: "Payton volunteered a story he heard about Chesney helping Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie undress for a shower last January while the two were in Birmingham, Ala., to rehabilitate from surgery."

road.jpg Kylie Minogue is "The One".

road.jpg Lady Gaga is always on.

road.jpg With the recent boost from health minister Anbumani Ramadoss, challengers to India's law criminalizing homosexuality are hopeful the antiquated law can be done away with: "The Delhi High Court is set to address a petition filed in the court by the NAZ Foundation, a Delhi-based non-government organization for HIV and AIDS prevention. The group is challenging arrests under 377."

road.jpg Shia LaBeouf may not lose his finger after all.


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