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Keith Olbermann Rips Indiana: The NCAA Must Move the Final Four — VIDEO

Olbermann

On his show last night, Keith Olbermann delivered a searing argument about why the NCAA must move the Final Four out of Indiana, arguing that sports has always been inextricably involved in politics.

Says Olbermann in his critique:

"The football league in this country and the college sports league in this country are tacitly supporting a law that allows those that have voluntarily chosen to join a group to discriminate and be prejudiced at the expense of those who may or may not have had any choice at all and the reality of course is not. The NCAA needs to move the Final Four out of Indianapolis and the NFL must warn Indiana and the Colts. Because ultimately you and I have a choice - do we participate in these laws, or do we do only as much as even the narrow prejudiced sports leagues of the 1930s, the 40s, and the 50s did. Opt out. Stay away, keep our business elsewhere until the laws of hate are gone."

He adds:

"Your choice is this. Do you endorse in this Indiana law a revival of the kind of hatred that opened the door for Jim Crow or do you repudiate it?"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NCAA has thus far said that it will re-evaulate its relationship with the state going forward but it has resisted, despite calls from high-profile figures like Charles Barkley, removing this year's Final Four from Indiana.

Continue reading "Keith Olbermann Rips Indiana: The NCAA Must Move the Final Four — VIDEO" »


Closeted Bisexual NFL Player Says Michael Sam 'Does Not Speak for All Gay Men'

Sam

Speaking anonymously with TMZ, a bisexual NFL player pushed back against comments made by Michael Sam after the openly gay athlete said in a recent interview that he respected the closeted football players who reached out to him, before adding that they didn't "have the same courage" to come out before staring their NFL journey like Sam did.

"As a bisexual man, I just feel like Michael Sam does not speak for all gay men," the player reportedly told TMZ Sports. "He has his own opinion ... but DON'T say that we don't have the courage to come out. It's totally wrong. Just speak for yourself. No one else."

The player added that he feels the NFL still isn't ready for openly gay or bisexual players but that Sam did get a fair chance in the league, he just didn't "perform well."


Ohio State National Champion Wrestler Mike Pucillo Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Pucillo

Mike Pucillo, a former Ohio State All-American and National Champion wrestler, has come out as gay in an interview with wrestling journalist Jason Bryant over at TheOpenMat.com:

The three-time All-American and 2008 NCAA champion said he struggled with his sexuality for years. He said he spent time in high school hoping he wasn’t gay.

“I’ve always known, I guess,” said Pucillo, who came out to his parents and a close circle of friends a little more than a year ago. “You try to not think that’s what it really is, so I just tried to say it was nothing. Then you start to realize it’s not really nothing.”

Pucillo, the first openly gay Division-I national champion wrestler, said that part of his struggle to be open and honest about his sexuality stemmed from his private Catholic school upbringing that hammered in the point that homosexuality was a "bad thing." The physicality of wrestling didn't help things either.

“Wrestling is one of the toughest mentally, physically and manly sports there is,” he said. “It’s two dudes rolling around on a mat. People who don’t know wrestling call them leotards. It’s a joke, but it creates a built-in mechanism to say: ‘I’m not gay. I’m too manly to be gay. I’m too tough to be gay."

Hearing the stories of out athletes like Dartmouth lacrosse player Andrew Goldstein, MLS player Robbie Rogers and retired MLB player Billy Bean, however, gave Pucillo the courage to embrace his identity.

Pucillo1“It may have taken me 26 years to realize that maybe I can play a bigger role in somebody else’s life and help somebody else’s life like Robbie Rogers or (Goldstein did),” Pucillo said. “If I can do that for one person, it’s worth it for everybody out there to know my story. … I know there’s going to be people that don’t like it. To those people, I would say, ‘I’ve spent 26 years being uncomfortable. It’s not my problem anymore.

“The only reason why I feel it’s important to tell my story is I know there are a lot of other people out there that are like me who are in high school or about to go into college, whether it’s wrestling or football or baseball or basketball or not in any sport, who are struggling with it,” he said. “The more stories they hear about it, the easier it is for them.”

Head over to TheOpenMat.com here for more on Pucillo's inspirational coming out journey.

Watch a video of Pucillo at the 2013 Las Vegas/ASICS U.S. Open, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Facebook]

h/t Outsports

Continue reading "Ohio State National Champion Wrestler Mike Pucillo Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


NCAA to Re-evaluate Relationship With Indiana in Wake of 'License to Discriminate' Law

NcaaNCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement today following Indiana Governor Mike Pence's signing of SB101, which allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT people based on religious beliefs.

Said Emmert:

"The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events.  We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.  We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."


Jason Collins Blasts Indiana's Anti-Gay 'License To Discriminate' Bill: VIDEO

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Jason Collins, the first openly gay pro athlete in the four major North American sports leagues, has spoken out against Indiana’s recently passed “License To Discriminate” bill, reports IndyStar.

By a vote of 63-31, the Indiana House of Representatives yesterday passed the bill which allows private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against LGBT individuals on religious grounds.

.@GovPenceIN, is it going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come to the #FinalFour? http://t.co/uBlKbIf8YK

— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) March 23, 2015

Governor Mike Pence says he is "looking forward" to signing the bill.

Collins, who has been mentoring other young, gay basketball players who have yet to come out of the closet, played for 13 seasons in the NBA for multiple teams, including the New Jersey Nets.

Watch the trailer for new documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes including Collins, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Wade Davis and Brittney Griner, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jason Collins Blasts Indiana's Anti-Gay 'License To Discriminate' Bill: VIDEO" »


Australian Rugby Player Fined $25,000, Apologizes for Hurling Anti-gay Slurs at Opposing Team: VIDEO

Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter, a rugby player for the New South Wales Waratahs, has been fined $25,000 for using homophobic slurs during a recent game.

The Sydney Morning Herald notes the slur was "understood to be 'faggot'".

The Herald reports:

The South African back-rower, in his second year at NSW, was the subject of allegations by Brumbies flanker David Pocock to referee Craig Joubert in the second half that homophobic slurs were used by a Waratahs forward during their 23-18 win.

Potgieter expressed remorse over the incident, and apologised for any harm caused by his remarks. "I'm very sorry for any offence caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter," Potgieter said. "It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me." [...]

His penalty relates to a breach of the ARU code of conduct, which prohibits homophobic or racist comments. "We take the issue of homophobia in sport seriously and want to provide a positive environment for everyone involved in Rugby," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said. "Comments of this nature cannot be tolerated. Our Inclusion Policy reinforces Australian Rugby's commitment to ensure every individual, whether they're players, supporters, coaches or administrators, feel safe, welcome and included regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

 "I'd like to stress again that there is absolutely no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words on and off the field must reflect that."

Watch a 9 News report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Potgieter also issued an apology on Instagram, writing:

To all the rugby community, fans and public.
I sincerely apologise for the hurtful words spoken during the Brumbies encounter.
In the heat of the moment I regrettably uttered a word, with no intent to discriminate. I respect everyone from all walks of life and would never intentionally hurt or judge anyone, it's not in my character.
I apologise for my actions and understand the seriousness of this matter.

Continue reading "Australian Rugby Player Fined $25,000, Apologizes for Hurling Anti-gay Slurs at Opposing Team: VIDEO" »


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