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NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO

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NFL free agent defensive end Michael Sam has been invited to the first-ever veteran combine, ESPN reports:

The veteran combine will be held March 22 in Tempe, Arizona, less than a week after Sam is set to start competing on the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which starts March 16.

Sam was chosen last year in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams but the team released him before the season began. He was later signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad but then waived.

The Veteran Combine is similar to the one held for potential draftees but it is for current NFL free agents like Sam.

Following the announcement this week that Sam would compete on Dancing With The Stars, he released a statement on Twitter:

Very excited to be a part of @DancingABC. Football remains my unquestioned number 1 priority, however, while I continue to train and stay ready, I am ecstatic to participate in a fun, athletic competition like so many players before me have done. Filming this offseason is very flexible and allows me to be part of the veterans combine 3/22 if accepted or any other workouts. I’m looking forward to getting started with @PetaMurgatroyd and winning! Thanks for the support! #TeamSambatroyd

Paparazzi stationed outside Dancing With The Stars rehearsals caught up with Sam this week as he arrived to rehearsals with fiancé Vito Cammisano in tow, and asked him which was tougher, dancing or the combine.

"Both," he replied.

They also asked if he has nailed his first dance yet:

"I think it's a secret right now. It's different from football. Peta's (Murgatroyd, his partner) doing a great job. She's bearing with me. It's different than football, clearly. But I'm getting the hang of it. It's fun. Great workout."

And what kind of advice he had for gay kids nervous to come out.

"Be on your truth. On your truth."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NFL Free Agent Michael Sam Invited to Veteran Combine, Says He's 'Getting the Hang' of Dancing: VIDEO" »


South Carolina Christian College Bans Homosexuality After Two Athletes Courageously Come Out

Juan Varona Erskine College

Erskine College, South Carolina has banned homosexuality after volleyball players Drew Davis and Juan Varona (above) came out last year.

OutSports reports that although Davis and Varona found support from their teammates, a statement from the college is likely to drive “a no-gays policy at the school and create an atmosphere where LGBT people do not feel safe.”

The February 20th “Statement on Human Sexuality” reads in part:

Erskine“We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position.”

Varona told OutSports that the statement “makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret.”

He added:

"I feel that in the time that we are living right now, where even in the conservative state of South Carolina same-sex marriage is legal, the school took several steps back instead of progressing towards a future where everyone can be treated as an equal, which is a future most of the country is moving towards.

"I understand the religious stand on adultery, which is part of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and that would apply to heterosexual and homosexual people. But when I saw the mention of sexual orientation being an issue, it just made me sad and worried for other gay people who might be struggling with confidence to come out."


WATCH: Trailer For Malcolm Ingram’s New LGBT Sports Documentary ‘Out To Win’

Out to win

The teaser trailer for acclaimed film Director Malcolm Ingram’s new LGBT documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes, is now available on the web reports Out. The documentary examines the lives and careers of professional and aspiring LGBT athletes from around the world including interviews with Martina Navratilova, Charline Labonté, Conner Mertens, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Wade Davis, David Kopay, John Amaechi and Brittney Griner.

Ingram is known for several LGBT documentaries he directed including Continental and Small Town Gay Bar, which was a huge hit with critics at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Out in Film debuts at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month. Watch the trailer, which features brief but enlightening clips from interviews with various LGBT athletes, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "WATCH: Trailer For Malcolm Ingram’s New LGBT Sports Documentary ‘Out To Win’" »


Retired Minor League Baseball Player Jason Burch Comes Out

Retired minor league baseball player Jason Burch has publicly come out as gay in a new interview with OutSports. Beginning in 2003, Burch played on various minor league teams over the course of six seasons.

BurchIn the interview, Burch says that while he was open about his sexuality to those teammates who asked (one player inquired if Burch had a girlfriend. Burch told him that he did not and that he was into guys), he wasn't as forthright to people who didn't ask him about it directly.

OutSports reports:

"While he described professional baseball as 'like an individual sport,' he relished the opportunity to meet people in the smaller cities and towns away from baseball. He wasn't on ESPN or the front pages of local newspapers, so it was easy for him to take his baseball cap off and meet people - gay and straight - without delving into his baseball career. Unless they asked, he preferred to share who he was, not what he did."

Burch dated men the entire time he played in the minor league, meeting many of them online.

He reflects on how he would handle his openness about being gay if he could do it all over again.

"Looking back, I wish I had told the whole world that I'm gay from day one. That feeling of being relied upon, that people must turn to you as a closer to make things right, to have that role - and to have people have that feeling about me in that role - as a gay man, I think that would have been a powerful message. If we are talking about changing people's opinions, I do think that would have been a powerful message. But I wasn't really thinking about that at the time."

Burch quit baseball in 2008 and received a law degree a few years later. He's now practicing law in Chicago and has been with his partner since 2012.


Michael Sam to Compete on 'Dancing With the Stars': REPORT

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NFL free agent Michael Sam has signed up to compete on Dancing with the Stars in March, according to TMZ:

Michael -- the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL -- will be part of Season 20, which fires up next month. Here's the problem. Sam -- who insinuated he was cut from the NFL because he is gay -- has vowed to get back in the league and said he'd take part in the first-ever veteran's combine on March 22.

We'll report on any developments as they come...

Sam told Sports Illustrated last week that he planned to continue trying to play in the NFL, saying:

"I’ll give up the game when my legs are both broken. I’m a football player and I will keep fighting for my dream to play in the NFL."


Jason Collins Has Been Mentoring Other LGBT Athletes Who Have Yet To Come Out Of The Closet: VIDEO

Collins

Jason Collins has been busy since becoming the NBA’s first openly gay player and subsequently retiring from the league. Since leaving the sport, Collins explained in an interview with The New York Daily News he’s spent his time mentoring other young, queer basketball players who have yet to come out of the closet.

“I’m in contact with other athletes, collegiate and professionally who are members of the LGBT community who maybe aren't ready to come out publicly but they have in their private lives,” Collins explained. “At this point it’s up to each individual person who has their life to live.”

He continued:

“I would hope that one day they do come out, especially while they’re active because you can see from my example, you can see from Robbie Rogers in soccer, you can have the best of both worlds.

I know there are more members of the LGBT community who haven’t yet stepped forward and (I’m) encouraging them that when they do that the world is ready to accept them and support them. As far as the NBA goes- the NBA is an incredible league. Basketball is a sport of inclusion and diversity and I hope they’re able to know how good it will be to be able to live their lives that they want off the court and also be able to have their job on the court.”

Watch Jason Collins speak with Chris Hayes about his newfound role as a mentor to young, closeted athletes AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jason Collins Has Been Mentoring Other LGBT Athletes Who Have Yet To Come Out Of The Closet: VIDEO" »


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