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04/19/2007


Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO

Collins_ayanbadejo

Jason Collins phoned in to speak with LGBT ally and former Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo on FOXSports' 'Unconventional Wisdom' podcast for a wide-ranging interview about joining the Brooklyn Nets, how he stayed in physical and mental shape while waiting for a team to call him up from his free agent status.

Said Collins: “You try to control what you can control. What was in my hand was how hard I worked.  I put myself in the best possible position.”

Collins downplays the anti-gay slurs he received from one "knucklehead" and also tells Ayanbadejo that his boyfriend has come on the road with the team and that the reception has been great. Collins says he has heard no derogatory words in the locker room.

Collins also talks about being a mentor to Michael Sam and running together, as well as meeting Matthew Shepard's parents, a moment that brings up plenty of emotion.

Listen to the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Brendon Ayanbadejo Interviews Jason Collins on Being Gay in the NBA: VIDEO" »


NFL Player-Turned-Exec Troy Vincent: I Knew 6 Players Who Were Openly Gay in the Locker Room

VincentTroy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, spoke about gays in the NFL with reporters including Palm Beach Post's Hal Habib this week:

"He said that he had openly gay teammates with the Dolphins — he played cornerback for Miami in 1992-95 — but that their sexual orientation was never an issue...

“I’m not going to share their names, but in my 15 years, there were six individuals who were at least openly gay in the locker room,” Vincent said. “No problem. From my days in Miami until I ended in Washington, they were just my teammates. Just like my family members. … We ate together, we flew together, they’re roommates in hotel rooms. It was what it was.”

Vincent has been active in the High Five Initiative, a program launched by the You Can Play Project last year that involves NFL players interactive one-on-one with LGBT youth.


Gay Former NFL Player Wade Davis Speaks to Coaches, General Managers on Homophobia, Locker Rooms

Gay former NFL player Wade Davis offered a "powerful presentation" to league coaches and general managers on Monday dealing with homophobia, sexual orientation, and gays in the locker room, Outsports reports:

DavisFrom all reports his presentation was incredibly well-received, with "many" coaches and GMs approaching Davis with praise after the meeting. Various folks from Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid to San Diego Chargers head coach Mike Mccoy thanked him for a unique, powerful presentation that opened eyes.

Davis's intent was to debunk stereotypes:

"I told them they have to be intentional from day one," Davis said of the NFL teams' next steps. "They can't just talk about 'diversity,' they have to talk about addressing 'diversity and that specifically includes sexual orientation."

Davis said one of the key elements of his talk was humor. He created a running joke through his presentation about current St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher cutting him. Twice. The room ate it up. Davis wanted to lighten the mood to demonstrate no one has to tip-toe around the issues on their teams: Gay players have senses of humor too.

"Wade nailed it," Fisher said after the meeting. He was glowing in his praise of Davis' talked, saying he'll consider bringing him to talk to his team later this year.

NFL owners are set to hear from Davis on Tuesday morning.


Former NFL QB Drew Bledsoe: Gay Player a Bigger Deal To Media Than Team – VIDEO

Bledsoe

HuffPost Live conducted an interview with former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe and discussed the impact Michael Sam might have on the NFL if he's drafted. According to Bledsoe, it's a bigger deal to the media than it will be to most NFL players:

In talking to guys that are playing now and guys that I played with, it's a far bigger story in the media than it is with any of the guys that are playing.

You can watch that segment, as well as the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former NFL QB Drew Bledsoe: Gay Player a Bigger Deal To Media Than Team – VIDEO " »


Redskins QB Kirk Cousins Says He'd Show Gay NFL Players 'What It Means to Follow Jesus': VIDEO

Cousins

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke to a group of students at NorthPointe High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan last Friday and talked about gays in the NFL, MLive reports.

Cousins said he would welcome a gay teammate to the locker room even if he is a sinner:

"So from a football standpoint, if the guy can help us win, come help us win. Now, there are a lot of teammates in my locker room right now who may not have a homosexual lifestyle, but they have sins, too. They’re not perfect. So I don’t say they can’t help us win. Nobody’s perfect.“

He added:

"To that degree, we'd welcome him into our locker room and say come help us win, and hopefully I can love him like Jesus and hopefully show him what it means to follow Jesus."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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NFL Considering Penalties for Gay And Racial Slurs

In what is quite likely a response to the NFL expecting to sign on its first openly-gay player in Michael Sam, the league is considering banning anti-gay and racial slurs, specifically the F-word and the N-word. NFL Player's Association executive George Atallah said that while the specifics cannot be discussed as they "make it a point not to usually discuss things that are still actively being worked out,” the slurs likely run afoul of anti-discriminatory clauses in the collective bargaining agreement, which include coverage for sexual orientation.

Combine_samHow much of a violation the slurs would be and the penalties that they would incur are still being debated internally, but a handful of heavy penalties in games would probably change player behavior in a hurry. According to Detroit News sportswriter Terry Foster,

It’s going to be a little bit messy, but players are sort of like sheep. They’ll learn eventually. You keep fining them or throwing 15-yard penalties, they’ll back down. I’m sure they’ve already got [sensitivity training] rolling right now. There’s going to be some fools that are going to say something, but I think most players realize, you know what, we’re in a changed society and we’ve got to wake up and go in lockstep.

NFL logoESPN adds:

The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, anticipates that the NFL's competition committee will enact the rule at the owners' meeting next month.

"We did talk about it, I'm sure that you saw near the end of the year that Fritz Pollard (Alliance) came out very strong with the message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who is on the league's competition committee. "So we did discuss over the last three days."


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