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Jason Collins: FIFA 'Cannot' Give World Cup to Russia or Qatar, 'Period'

Former NBA player Jason Collins blasted FIFA's plans to host the upcoming 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Said Collins to BBC World Service's program Sportsworld:

Collins2"If you're a governing body like Fifa you cannot have sporting events in countries... where they have laws on the books that say that homosexuality is illegal, you just cannot give them that power. So whether it's Russia, whether it's Qatar, you cannot give them the games, period, until they change their laws or the culture so that people feel comfortable again to live their authentic life."

Added Collins:

"If you do go, know that as an athlete you have a unique platform and I hope that you're able to use that platform, that voice, to raise awareness of the LGBT community in whatever country that you're in."

Collins was the first openly gay player in the NBA. He retired in November.


Michael Sam Signs With Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes

Sam

Michael Sam is finally getting his shot on the gridiron, albeit now in Canada:

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League announced Friday that they have signed Sam to a two-year deal. Sam spent parts of last season with the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys, but did not play a regular-season snap for either team.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Sam signed a one-year deal with a team option year, according to Sam's agent, Joe Barkett. Sam became the first openly gay player in NFL history when he was selected by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

"With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today," said Alouettes' general manager Jim Popp. "Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team."

Sam will be introduced at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday, according to the CBC:

Alouettes"Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam," CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said in a statement released by the league. "Our players come to us from different places, different walks of life and ultimately they take different paths to get to our fields. Today is another indication of how open and progressive the CFL is — consistent with our rich and storied history of great football tradition. Welcome to Montreal, Michael!"


Texas University Bars Student-Athletes From Same-Sex Dating, Publicly Supporting Gay Marriage

LeTourneau

A Texas university has banned gay student-athletes from dating and all athletes from publicly supporting same-sex marriage. 

LeTourneau University is an NCAA Division III school in Longview, Texas, with an enrollment of 3,000. The private interdenominational Christian university was recently named one of "America's Best Colleges" in the West by U.S. News and World Report. 

OutSports first reported on the anti-gay policy in LeTourneau's Student-Athlete Handbook, which is readily available on the school's website and reads as follows: 

The following activities are prohibited

Whether they are observed by a member of the community, verbally described, or personally shared with the public in verbal or written form (for example, through a personal website or social network). These behaviors are subject to administrative intervention and disciplinary action which may include Disciplinary Warning; Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, and/or Dismissals.

Sexually immoral or immodest conduct or the promotion of such, outside of marriage.

These include activities such as (but not limited to): sexually graphic text messaging, chatting, or video conferencing; fornication; sexual promiscuity; and adultery – whether they are heterosexual or homosexual in nature. Cohabitation (sharing a room, apartment, or home) with a member of the opposite gender is included in this prohibition.

Based on biblical standards, we believe that God has created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman, and only within this institution does God bless intimate sexual expression; all other intimate sexual expression outside of marriage is considered immoral behavior. Consistent with our desire to celebrate and model a Scriptural approach to sexuality;, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.

Any student concerned about their experiences with sexual temptation, participation, or addiction – either heterosexual or homosexual in nature – may proactively seek assistance from the Office of Student Life or our counselors without fear of disciplinary action (see “Personal Growth initiative”).

OutSports notes that LeTourneau has a history of anti-gay efforts, including hosting "ex-gay" speaker Christopher Yuan last year, according to the school's website

What many would consider their worst nightmare has become the reality for Christopher Yuan. While attending dental school, he began living promiscuously as a gay man and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing and discovered that he was HIV positive.

But God has turned his nightmare into an exciting and inspiring story of redemption, grace and transformation. Christopher has an understanding heart for and desire to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. He speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons.

The LGBT group Soulforce published a letter from a closeted gay Letourneau student back in 2007: 

I will soon be graduating from LeTourneau University, and I plan to fully come out once I have. I have only chosen to remain mostly closeted because I do not want to risk being kicked out of school or forced into one of those infamous therapy camps. I have yet to reach a conclusion about my faith, however. I came to LETU hoping to be energized and changed, but I have become cynical and jaded about faith and religion.

OutSports' Cyd Zeigler says Letourneau's anti-gay policy for student-athletes is new and part of a national trend:

The movement by trustees and administrations to explicitly marginalize LGBT students on college campuses across the country is growing, even as students and faculty become increasingly accepting. Recent episodes at Erskine CollegeHillsdale College and an unnamed Christian school in the South have been particularly troubling. ... 

How other NCAA members allow schools with these kinds of bigoted policies to be part of the NCAA is difficult to understand.


Openly Gay Basketball Player Derrick Gordon Transferring To Anti-LGBT Catholic University: VIDEO

Gordon

The first openly gay Division I men's basketball player in history is transferring to a school with an anti-LGBT reputation. 

Derrick Gordon, who came out last April while playing at UMass, announced Sunday he is transferring to Seton Hall University, a Roman Catholic school in New Jersey:

Seton Hall is an interesting choice for Gordon given that, as we reported Sunday, the local archbishop just fired the school's campus priest Warren Hall (pictured below) for a pro-LGBT tweet. OutSports notes that Seton Hall has also faced lawsuits from a gay student who claimed discrimination and for refusing to allow an LGBT group. 

From The New York Daily News

HallGordon, speaking on the school’s radio station Sunday night, said he was aware of the firing, but felt comfortable on the South Orange campus.

“When I visited the campus today everybody made me feel comfortable,” Gordon told WSOU. “I was there with my family. They made me feel comfortable to the point where it was a safe environment, even with the situation that happened with the priest two days ago. It felt like a family environment, and that was very big for me in my book. The visit went better than what I expected.” ... 

Gordon told USA Today on Sunday that he was not being recruited by some schools because of his sexuality, but that was not the case at Seton Hall.

“As long as I’m accepted, that’s all that really matters to me,” Gordon told the radio station. “We’re all in a society now where there are people who accept it and people who don’t accept it. Regardless of where I go, it’s always going to be like that.”

OutSports' Cyd Ziegler writes that Seton Hall's decision to pick up Gordon is a sign of progress:  

Ultimately, this had nothing to do with Gordon as a "gay athlete." The school chose to make a "basketball decision." Seton Hall could use the help. A strong program in the late Eighties and early Nineties, the men's basketball team has struggled in the Big East over the last decade. The team hasn't made it to the NCAA basketball tournament since 2006 and has won more than 20 games only once since 2004. The last time the Pirates were in the Sweet Sixteen, Gordon was in third grade. ... 

It's another strong sign of a changing tide in sports. While Michael Sam is still not on an NFL team, he was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys after being released by the Rams last summer. Jason Collins was signed by the Brooklyn Nets after he came out publicly. Former professional rugby player Gareth Thomas was picked up by the Crusaders Rugby League in 2010 after he came out.

Yet the move by Seton Hall might be the most telling. Gordon is at the height of his basketball career, and the school needs him. Seton Hall is a Catholic school with an anti-LGBT history, and Gordon needs the school.

Watch a video in which Gordon talks about his coming out last year, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

Continue reading "Openly Gay Basketball Player Derrick Gordon Transferring To Anti-LGBT Catholic University: VIDEO" »


James Corden Plays a Ball-Busting Game of Dodgeball with the Boys of One Direction: VIDEO

Dodgeball

James Corden continued his late night winning streak with this hilarious dodgeball segment from last night featuring the boys of One Direction. Taking on the role of player-coach in the segment, Corden made sure to fill the game with plenty of ball jokes and suggestive poses for audience entertainment.

See how the boys fared against the all-female Ball Busters, AFTER THE JUMP...

Dodgeball2

In the interview back in the studio, Corden also chatted with 1D about Zayn Malik's departure and Harry Styles new mystery tattoo. You can check out those videos after the jump as well. 

Dodgeball3

Continue reading "James Corden Plays a Ball-Busting Game of Dodgeball with the Boys of One Direction: VIDEO" »


NJ High School Wrestling Champion Alec Donovan Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Donovan

New Jersey's high school state wrestling champion Alec Donovan, "ranked in the top 25 of high school wrestlers in his weight class in the nation," has come out as gay, Outsports reports:

2_donovanAt the time this story is published, Donovan is on a recruiting trip at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other schools - in addition to Limestone College - have come calling as well.

For Donovan, the importance of being with a program that wants him for who he is - and the opportunity to help other LGBT athletes walking down the path he was on just three years ago - far outweighs any risk this story might pose.

According to Outsports, Donovan came out on the Limestone College recruiting trip when a fellow recruit asked if he was bisexual:

"The rumor isn't true," Donovan told the other recruit. "I'm not bisexual... I'm gay."

The recruit was "cool with it" and found it fascinating. He asked Donovan if he could tell the guys on the Limestone team who were recruiting them. Donovan didn't care. He had accepted who he was. Fear had left him.

"It's better that everybody knows anyway, so I don't end up on a team that doesn't want me for all of me."

Donovan says that just three years ago he was considering suicide and made it through the next three years with the help of a friend and two fellow wrestlers he confided in about his sexual orientation.

He's now involved in an anti-bullying group at Brick Memorial High School and is trying to decide which college he'll wrestle at next year.

Watch Donovan's state champion final wrestling match, AFTER THE JUMP...

Donovan is the second high-profile wrestler to come out in recent months. In March, Ohio State National Champion Mike Pucillo came out as gay.

Continue reading "NJ High School Wrestling Champion Alec Donovan Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


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