Sports Hub




The 108 Athletes, Coaches, and Sports Figures Who Courageously Came Out This Year: LIST

Outsports

As we mentioned on our "80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" post earlier this month, this was certainly the year of the athlete - with more than 1/3 of our list coming from the sports world.

But even our list (the largest of any previous year) was just a drop in the 2014 bucket. The team over at Outsports compiled an incredible list of 108 athletes, coaches, officials, and sports administrators who came out publicly this year. Some names on the list overlap with our own, such as NCAA player Derrick Gordon and Australian Bobsled hunk Simon Dunn, but there are dozens more that are no less deserving of the spotlight for courageously coming out this year.  

Outsports has the breakdown by sport:

BunchSwimming - 14
Football - 11
Track & field/Running - 10
Basketball - 9
Soccer - 7
Diving - 4
Tennis - 4
Baseball - 3
Volleyball - 3

Other sports represented: Aussie Rules Football, bobseld, boxing, cheer, fencing, field hockey, figure skating, gymnastics, hockey, hurling, kayak, lacrosse, luge, mixed martial arts, rowing, rugby, skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, softball, strength, trampoline, triathlon, Ultimate and wrestling.

Broken up by gender, 80 are men and 28 are women.

Check out the full list over at Outsports here.

And if you haven't yet checked out our own list of the big names who came out in 2014, what are you waiting for?

[pictured right: Tristan Bunch, triathlete]


FRC Radio Host Craig James Isn't Sure About Executing Gays, But He's All For Dying To Deny Them Equal Rights

James.Craig

Craig James, a former TV football analyst, is fond of saying he was fired by Fox Sports merely because of his views against same-sex marriage. 

But it's beginning to seem more likely that Fox Sports let James go because he's a total wingnut with a variety of extremist anti-gay views, which he only began to publicly articulate in 2012 during a failed campaign for US Senate in Texas.  

Those views have come much more into focus during James' current tenure as a radio host for the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group. 

The most recent example was Friday, when James spoke with a caller to FRC's "Washington Watch" program.  

Right Wing Watch reports: 

“I want to say something very horrific, a solution, and I think it’s the right solution,” said the caller, who said his name was Phillip. “We pray for the homosexuals, we’ve prayed for our enemies but at the same time when they try to force us to go against God, I think that’s where they cross the line and we should pass laws to execute them when they have judges to go against our businesses.”

And here's James' response: 

"Thank you Phillip. You know what, that part there, I don’t know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger. God doesn’t tell us and calls us that we have to be timid and to stand for our straight — our beliefs. I’m doing a course right now in seminary and it’s the history of the early church and it’s fascinating, there’s been lots and lots and lots of men and women who have died for their Christian beliefs since the beginning and now we are in a time in this country and in this world where we must be bold and stand for God and His truths." 

In other words, James isn't sure about executing gay people, but he's all for dying to stop them from getting equal rights.

Is there a difference? 

It sounds like James, a one-time NFL running back, would probably do whatever it takes to win — but I suspect the outcome of this struggle will be similar to that of his Senate campaign, when he ended up with 4 percent of the vote.  

Listen to the audio, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "FRC Radio Host Craig James Isn't Sure About Executing Gays, But He's All For Dying To Deny Them Equal Rights" »


National Champion Swimmer Tom Luchsinger Comes Out as Gay: 'I Have Come to Accept Who I Am' - VIDEO

Luchsinger1

Tom Luchsinger, who in 2013 won the 200m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championship in Barcelona, has come out as gay in a deeply emotional letter published over at Outsports.

Writes Luchsinger:

For as long as I can remember I tried to repress my feelings through athletics. I tried to hide who I was through medals and accomplishments. I tried to pray away my sexuality. I tried to shower it off. Nothing ever worked. After years of stress, hate, and disgust toward myself, I have come to accept who I am. I am a proud gay man living my life the best way I know how, surrounded by people who love and support me!

LuchsingerFor years, my sexuality was the quality I was most ashamed of about myself. But now it seems that being gay is one of the characteristics I'm most proud of. I have accomplishments linked to my name that most heterosexual men will never have. I've overcome the fear of being rejected from the people I love the most.

My friendships have gotten stronger because of my self acceptance. My smile is a lot more genuine and surfaces much more frequently. I laugh a lot more. My body has time to recover from a workout because I'm actually an easy-going person. I have found qualities-both physical and emotional-that I like about myself - though that's still a work in progress. My number of good days far out number my bad days.

I'm still the same person I have always been, just a hell of a lot better at it.

Read Luchsinger's full letter here.

And check out his impressive 2013 championship win AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "National Champion Swimmer Tom Luchsinger Comes Out as Gay: 'I Have Come to Accept Who I Am' - VIDEO" »


Lesbian Basketball Players Sue Pepperdine University For Discrimination, 'Mental Anguish' - VIDEO

Pepperdine

Pepperdine University basketball players Haley Videckis and Layana White are suing their head coach and the school for alleged civil rights violations regarding their sexual orientation, reports OutSports.

Pepperdine, a private religious school in California which is allegedly in receipt of some public funding, says its purpose is to pursue the highest academic standards "within the context that celebrates and extends the spiritual and ethical ideals of the Christian faith."

Back in 2012, the Malibu-based university blocked the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance called 'Reach Out' because Dean of Students Mark Davis said homosexuality is against "God's Will".

Videckis and White claim they were harassed for being in a relationship with each other. They allege the mental anguish ultimately led to a suicide attempt by White.

The two are suing coach Ryan Weisenberg and the university for violating their civil right to privacy and for violations of a 1972 California law which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities.

The complaint alleges that coach Weisenberg said "Lesbianism is not tolerated on this team” and is “a big concern in women's basketball."

In a statement released over the weekend, the university said”

“We take allegations of this kind very seriously. We conducted an immediate and thorough investigation and found no evidence to support these claims. The University remains committed to a diverse and inclusive environment.”

Watch Videckis discuss a game victory back in February, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Basketball Players Sue Pepperdine University For Discrimination, 'Mental Anguish' - VIDEO" »


Arizona Cardinals Video Director Rob Brakel Comes Out As Gay

Brakel2

Rob Brakel, video director for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, said the response has been overwhelmingly positive since he came out publicly as gay this week.

"Reception has been unreal," Brakel told Towleroad. "Couple players that know were awesome. The head coach, GM, and our owner Michael (Bidwill) have been nothing short of AMAZING. They have my back and are happy for me." 
 
But Brakel, who came out Wednesday in an interview with OutSports before the Cardinals' game against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, also said that for him, the decision hasn't really sunk in yet.  
 
"Busy with game last night, flying back, went to bed at 4am and just woke up to phone going crazy," he told Towleroad on Friday. "I do need a few more hours of sleep but I have to get to work soon. In time I think it will be great for me." 
 
The Cardinals defeated the Rams and are atop the NFC at 11-3, adding to what Brakel called "the biggest year for me." 
 
Brakel, a 17-year veteran of NFL video crews, told OutSports he was inspired to come out publicly while reading gay MLS player Robbie Rogers'' book, "Coming Out To Play," on the team plane Wednesday. OutSports reports: 

"I don't care anymore," Brakel said from his hotel room, the shaking coming through his voice over the phone. "Everyone around me knows who I am. I'm a guy who will give the shirt off his back to help you. I'll do whatever I can to help people. And I've had enough." ... 

As Brakel read the book, the rest of the Cardinals filed past him on the plane. He knew some might look down and see his choice of reading material, but he didn't care. Not only was he engrossed in the story, many of them already knew or suspected he was gay.

Those who've known Brakel was gay include Cardinals head coach Bruce Ariens, to whom Brakel came out at the NFL combine as Michael Sam made his NFL debut earlier this year. And those who've suspected include star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who did "the gay math" on Brakel. 

Brakel acknowledged it's tough being gay around the NFL, and he's thought about quitting at times.

A Twitter search for "gay" and "Cardinals" over the last few days shows exactly Brakel and others are up against — and why it's so important for them to come out.


First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO

Sam

The Oprah Winfrey Network's Michael Sam docu-series that was postponed back in May due to concerns it was causing a "distraction" for the openly gay footballer is set to make a revival in the form of a 90-minute documentary airing later this month.

Via news release:

The documentary was originally announced as a multi-part series but transitioned into a 90-minute documentary when shooting was postponed to allow Michael to focus on football. Cameras get up close and personal with Michael as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports.

Watch a promo for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

Following the documentary's airing at 9pm ET on December 27, Oprah will sit down with Michael Sam for a special television interview, the first since he was cut from the NFL back in October

Continue reading "First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged