09/02/2014

OutSports Founder Cyd Zeigler Talks Michael Sam And The NFL's Homophobia

Cyd

Founder of OutSports Cyd Zeigler sat down with the NFL Network to discuss the St. Louis Rams' decision to cut Michael Sam and not offer him a position on the team's practice squad. Commenting on how much Sam's sexuality has influenced his current position, Zeigler commented, “I don’t believe [Sam's] not at the St. Louis Rams because he is gay. I believe he is not in the NFL because he is gay.” You'll recall that once Sam was cut from the Rams' roster, the 31 other teams in the NFL had 24 hours to either add Sam to their roster or their practice squad. No team chose to do so, leaving Sam's prospects in the NFL uncertain. 

When asked whether the media played a role in Sam's ultimately not being offered a position by an NFL Team, Zeigler made sure to bring up the now notorious report by ESPN on Sam's showering habits in the Rams locker room:

"I think the media played a big role. Last week’s report by ESPN about his showering habits hurt him. I think that it was going so well for a few weeks in the preseason, we were just talking about Michael Sam the football player then all of a sudden last week it was a big reminder of the power of him being gay in the locker room and how much people want to talk about that. And that’s sad to me...He has to [end up on a team’s practice squad]. 

Though Sam faces an uphill battle getting on another team’s practice squad after failing to make the Rams’ squad, Zeigler believes that his talent and ability merit a spot on an NFL team: “If he is not on at least a practice squad in the next couple of weeks right now we have to say that the NFL has a big problem with homophobia."

However, Zeigler still has faith that Sam will ultimately find a place in the NFL, commenting that the organization is in his eyes, "a meritocracy” and that Sam will ultimately find a home on an NFL team for one simple reason: “Sam is too good.”

You can watch Zeigler's interview HERE

Posted Sep. 2,2014 at 9:02 AM EST by in Michael Sam, News, NFL, Sports | Permalink | Comments (31)


Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO

Bingham cup

Sporting history was made last week at the launch of The Bingham Cup - the World Cup of gay rugby - in Sydney, Australia.

Two Rugby World Cup-winning Wallabies captains joined senior federal politicians from every major Australian party, the International Rugby Board (IRB) publicly endorsed the event and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) adopted a range of policies aimed at eliminating homophobia.

Bingham cup 2

The IRB is believed to be the first major international sporting federation to publicly endorse a gay sporting event.

Other international sporting organisations including world soccer governing body FIFA - which came under pressure following homophobic incidents at this year’s World Cup - were challenged to follow rugby’s lead.

John Eales, the most successful captain in Australian rugby history and a board member of the ARU, said:

“We should commend and celebrate the support around the world to address homophobia and discrimination in sport. There is still a great deal of work to do, but I’m hopefully we’ll soon see a time when athletes at all levels feel comfortable being open about their sexuality and playing the sports they love without fear of discrimination.”

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said:

“Rugby recognises sport’s wider responsibility to society and its ability to drive social change. Sport can cross barriers. Sport boosts self-esteem and Sport promotes inclusivity and celebrates diversity. We are proud as Rugby grows across every continent that the sport’s strong values of solidarity, integrity, discipline, respect and passion still make a real difference in modern society.”

Senior Australian federal cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time advocate for LGBT equality, added:

“A person’s sexuality should be completely irrelevant whether they are playing sports or doing anything else in life.  I’m proud Australians are playing such a significant role in highlighting the need for change. We need to continue working proactively to find effective approaches to address homophobia and change sporting culture.”

The tournament, which was won by the Sydney Convicts, is named in honor of rugby player Mark Bingham who is known internationally as one of the heroes of 9/11.

Watch a report on the tournament launch and the official tournament video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 2,2014 at 8:18 AM EST by in Australia, Rugby, Sports, Sydney, Video, World Cup, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (1)


09/01/2014

What To Watch This Week on TV: 'Saved By The Bell' Scandals, Fox Finds 'Utopia' - VIDEO

Savedbythebell

Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— We're so excited, we’re so excited, we’re so … scared for The Unauthorized Save By the Bell Story tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on Lifetime. I mean, we know it’s going to be terrible, but we’re hoping it’s the kind of terrible that you just want to watch over and over again. The TV movie takes a salacious look at the backstage drama that [allegedly] plagued the seemingly squeaky-clean cast.

Dancers, designers and more shows this week, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "What To Watch This Week on TV: 'Saved By The Bell' Scandals, Fox Finds 'Utopia' - VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 1,2014 at 7:00 PM EST by in Project Runway, Television | Permalink | Comments (2)


GaymerX Is Back For A Third Round With a New Crowdfunding Campaign: VIDEO

Gaymerx2

The team behind GaymerX, an LGBTQ-focused gathering of gamers, is back with a new Kickstarter and a mission to resurrect the popular convention. Now entitled GX3: Everyone Games, the the con’s organizers have decided to emphasize the fact that gamers of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome within the queer gaming space.

Gx3“The point of this Kickstarter is to continue our work with creating a convention that is different and awesome--weird and safe, but diverse space in the gaming community.” GaymerX CEO Matt Conn explains in the group’s crowdfunding video. "We've decided that we want to keep doing what we're doing. We know that this work is important."

Despite successfully raising funds to finance previous GaymerX events, Conn and co. ran into substantial last-minute expenses that would eventually put the future of the GaymerX brand in jeopardy.

Our first year, we didn't really know what we were doing and had to try to figure it out on the fly. Because of this, we hit a lot of unexpected roadblocks, expenses, and last minutes issues. With GaymerX2, we had a plan and knew what we wanted to do, but went with a venue that was extremely costly and overestimated attendance.

Having learned from previous years’ woes, GaymerX is focusing on raising funds in advance of booking a space for the convention. The Kickstarter’s $80,000 goal will cover about half of G3’s total cost of $159,500, the remainder of which the team hopes to raise via corporate sponsorships. Blizzard Entertainment Inc., the studio behind the popular World of Warcraft and Diablo series, has contributed $10,000 to the organization along with similar sponsorship from a number of other organizations. With 17 days left to go, G3’s Kickstarter has already raised over $58,000 dollars in the days leading up to the campaign’s September 18th’s deadline.

Take a look at G3: Everyone Games’s Kickstarter campaign video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GaymerX Is Back For A Third Round With a New Crowdfunding Campaign: VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 1,2014 at 4:27 PM EST by in Gaming, Kickstarter, Video Games | Permalink | Comments (4)


Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO

Javed Jaghai

A gay rights activist has withdrawn a legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws after growing fears of violent backlashes, reports WTOP.com.

Last year, Javed Jaghai initiated a constitutional challenge to an 1864 law that bans sex between men.  He argued that the law fuels homophobia and violates a 2011 charter of human rights that guarantees a right to privacy.

Jaghai is the Education and Outreach Officer at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG).

As it stands, the law bans anal sex and sets a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and hard labor. Anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men is punishable with two years in prison.

When Jaghai initiated the legal challenge in 2013, several church pastors led crowded revival meetings to oppose overturning the anti-sodomy law.

However, Jaghai has issued a statement saying he is no longer in a position to continue pursuing the case because of fears of a backlash against his family.

Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his court challenge is "the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground, away from effective HIV testing, prevention treatment, care and support interventions.”

Although Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller spoke in favor of gay rights in 2012 and has vowed to put the anti-sodomy law to a "conscience vote," there has as yet been no movement in that area.

Watch Jaghai discuss human rights in Jamaica, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 1,2014 at 1:30 PM EST by in Caribbean, Jamaica, LGBT Rights, Portia Simpson-Miller, Video, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (10)


Michael Sam Goes Unclaimed By 31 NFL Teams, Rams Pass On Offering Him Practice Squad Spot: VIDEO

Sam3

Michael Sam's prospects of becoming the first openly gay NFL player dimmed over the weekend - with Sam failing to be claimed by the other 31 NFL teams after being cut by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday. The Rams also passed on signing Sam onto their team's 10-man practice squad.

Outsports' Jim Buzinski reports on Sam's current situation:

With the Rams out of the picture for now, the number of teams possible to pick up Sam has dwindled. He plays defensive end in a 4-3 system, and that is used by only half the teams. Of that half, most teams are already set at defensive line, so Sam would need to find a team that has a need for his skills. [...]

If Sam fails to be signed to a practice squad this week, he can work out on his own and be ready in case a team needs his services during the season. He can also explore playing in the Canadian Football League, which would at least get him playing time. Teams must announce practice squad acquisitions by 4 p.m. each day, and with the season starting in less than a week, it appears highly unlikely Sam will be on an NFL team this week.

Buzinski also pointed out that, according to NFL data site Pro Football Focus, Sam was rated the 44th best out of 100 defensive ends in a 4-3 scheme - making his inability to secure a practice squad spot puzzling. Previously, Outsports stated that if the other 31 NFL teams passed on Sam - who led the Rams in tackles and sacks in the four-game preseason - homophobia would be a contributing factor

Others, such as Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Eric Wood, placed blame on ESPN's continuous (and, at times, sensational) coverage of Sam's preseason. 

Last week, Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher praised Sams' preseason performance, saying "I believe he can play in this league." Sam himself was also pleased with his performance and said he was "very confident" he would make an NFL roster. 

Watch an ESPN segment with NFL analyst and former coach Herman Edwards sharing his advice for Sam, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam Goes Unclaimed By 31 NFL Teams, Rams Pass On Offering Him Practice Squad Spot: VIDEO"

Posted Sep. 1,2014 at 12:30 PM EST by in Michael Sam, NFL, Sports | Permalink | Comments (51)


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