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Former College Football Player And NFL Prospect Brad Thorson: ‘I’m Gay’

Thorson

Brad Thorson, a former college football player who played as an offensive lineman for both Wisconsin and Kansas and was briefly with the Arizona Cardinals, came out as gay in a blog post published on July 4th:

I've been told many times that the process of coming out is cathartic. Yet since coming to terms with my sexuality, I found it arduous and unnecessary. At least that's what I kept telling myself. So today, I'm putting it in writing and not looking back.

I'm gay.

I'm also an athlete. For years, I struggled to unite these two identities in my own mind. Not until after my professional athletic career came to an end did I allow myself to understand my sexuality. Now, three years later, I'm finally ready to share that with people.

Thorson, whose time in the NFL was shortened by a broken foot, decided to leave football behind him after a brief stint with the Canadian Football League's Regina Roughriders.

In his post, Thorson also commented on the influence other out gay athletes have had on him and how he hopes to be able to offer solace and inspiration to other gay athletes who have yet to come out:

If not for the strength of athletes like Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and Brian Sims, I would likely still be struggling with my own cognitive dissonance. Each of their stories reinforced the truth that there is nothing wrong with being a competitive athlete and gay. Just as their stories helped me come to understand and accept myself, I've gotten to a point in my life where I hope to help someone else to understand his or her identity as a gay athlete. […]

This year has been quite a journey for me. I consider myself incredibly lucky for the opportunities I've had, my amazing friends and family, and to live at a time of great progress in gay rights. I wish that I could've shared this part of my life with more people individually but I'm also ready to move forward. My hope in coming out is that at least one other gay athlete will understand he or she isn't alone and that it really does get better.

Thorson’s post also chronicles how joining gay rugby team the Fog and meeting the mother of gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham, who was himself a member of that team, helped him in his journey to reconciling being gay with being an athlete. 

Thorson told OutSports that he had wanted to write that post "many times before but just didn't have the right words to say.”

Thorson later took to Instagram to share his father’s response to him coming out. In an email, Thorson’s father wrote:  

Each of you have brought so many special blessing to me and taught me how hard and yet joyful it is to be a father. It would be a lie to say I wasn't shocked when you came out to Mom and I but, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my level of tolerance and understanding given my years of intolerance.  It is quite amazing to me how blindly bigoted I have allowed myself to be and for what?  I think we fear what we don’t fully understand, like the monster under the bed, there’s really nothing there to be afraid of! I have always and will always be the biggest advocate (except for your mom) for my kids.  You all mean the world to us and today I celebrate the joy of having all of you in my life. 

Read Thorson's declaration of independence, HERE.


U.S. Patent Office Strips Washington Redskins of Six Federal Trademarks for 'Disparaging' Name

Redskins_oliver

The U.S. Patent office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the Washington Redskins, Think Progress reports:

SnyderThe U.S. PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued a ruling in the case, brought against the team by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, Wednesday morning.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the board wrote in its opinion, “>which is here. A brief explanation of how the Board reached its decision is here.

“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans. The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, said in a press release. “We presented a wide variety of evidence – including dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings, movie clips, scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups – to demonstrate that the word ‘redskin’ is an ethnic slur.”

On last weekend's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver blasted Redskins' owner Dan Snyder, a staunch defender of the name, on his show.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The team says it will appeal the ruling.

Continue reading "U.S. Patent Office Strips Washington Redskins of Six Federal Trademarks for 'Disparaging' Name" »


Michael Sam Signed to Four-Year, $2.65 Million Contract with St. Louis Rams

Sam

The St. Louis Rams have officially signed gay NFL rookie Michael Sam and the rest of the Rams' Rookie class, NFL.com reports:

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Thursday that the Rams have signed all 11 players selected by the team last month at Radio City Music Hall, according to a team source.

The complete list of signed Rams rookies includes: OT Greg Robinson, DT Aaron Donald, CB Lamarcus Joyner, RB Tre Mason, SS Mo Alexander, CB E.J. Gaines, QB Garrett Gilbert, OT Mitchell Van Dyk, FS C.B. Bryant, DE Michael Sam and C Demetrius Rhaney.

FOX Sports reports that Sam was offered a four-year, $2.65 million contract, with $46,000 of it guaranteed.

Sam tweeted on Thursday: "Grateful, humbled, and motivated after officially signing with all my Rams rookie brothers. Let's do this!! #RamUp "


Michael Sam on His Teammates: ‘They Respect Me As A Human Being and As A Football Player’

Michael sam

USA Today takes a look at how Michael Sam has been holding up in NFL preseason training and how he is fitting in with his fellow teammates on the St. Louis Rams. 

"He's learning his role here. We've got such a deep D-line, he's going to fight for his position," [defensive end Robert] Quinn said. "He gives it 110% while he's out here. He wants to learn his playbook, wants to help his team win.

"He's a football player here. That's all that really matters." […]

The Rams also brought Wade Davis, a former NFL player and executive director of the You Can Play Project advocacy group for gay and lesbian athletes, in shortly after the draft to talk with Rams players about having a gay teammate.

Sam said he appreciated the gesture, though he didn't think it was necessary.

"They respect me as a human being and as a football player," he said of his St. Louis teammates.

Sam said with all the past attention and media spotlight, it’s a welcome change to be seen as just another rookie vying for one of the 53 spots on the final roster at the end of preseason.

He added: "I thought our defensive line at Mizzou was pretty tough. This is a whole new level. I've got to up my game."


Peter LaBarbera Angry At Being Forced To Watch Michael Sam Kiss: AUDIO

Alex A Clockwork Orange

Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is angry at being forced to watch Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend. Because NFL draft viewing sessions are evidently reenactments of scenes from A Clockwork Orange.

Said LaBarbera on Crosstalk (bolding mine):

[The media] basically reported the kiss without giving the other side of people who would voice disapproval of people being forced and subjected to through the media these homosexual acts, the homosexual perversion.

The media didn't provide the "other side" because the "other side" of this discussion is not one whose arguments are deserving of airtime. Like with climate change deniers and flat earth conspiracy theorists, not all opinions are of equal validity and worthy of consideration.

You can listen to the clips from Crosstalk below:


Anti-Gay Lobbyist Jack Burkman Launches Boycott Of NFL Rams And Visa Over Michael Sam

Jack Burkman — an anti-gay lobbyist who is an embarrassment to his own gay brother — has followed through on his promise to unleash a “relentless” Christian boycott against the NFL team that drafted openly gay football player Michael Sam.

WowHe’s also including Visa in his boycott for signing an endorsement deal with Sam.

The PR News Channel reports:

Burkman says he unleashed powerful grassroots organizations he assembled in 27 of the 50 states which will lead the boycott efforts. And he says he has mobilized a coalition of evangelical Christian leaders from across the nation to join the boycott.

“Visa and the Rams will learn that when you trample the Christian community and Christian values, there will be a terrible financial price to pay,” says Burkman. “Openly gay football players send a terrible message to our youth about morality. Somebody needs to step up because the moral fiber of the nation is eroding.”

In the boycott he’s leading against Visa, Burkman says he is urging the public to sell Visa stock they may own and to stop using Visa cards.

Burkman says he is also urging Rams fans to not buy team merchandise and is calling on season ticket holders to stay away from games.

Burkman has also drafted a go-nowhere Senate Bill that would ban openly gay players from major league sports. Sam himself zinged Burkman’s bill back in February by tweeting, “Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room.”


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