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Major League Baseball to Honor Late Gay Player Glenn Burke at All-Star Game

Burke

MLB player Glenn Burke, who spent his career closeted before coming out as gay in 1982, will be honored by the League at Tuesday's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Burke died in 1994 of AIDS-related causes. There is still no openly gay player in professional baseball.

The NYT reports:

“He was a pioneer, and should be recognized,” Pat Courtney, a Major League Baseball spokesman, said.

Attending the game will be Lutha Burke, one of Glenn Burke’s five surviving siblings, who cared for Burke in his final months as he withered and died from the effects of AIDS, and her daughter Alice Rose. Burke died in 1995.

“It was overdue, and Glenn has a story that needs to be told,” Lutha Burke, 66, said over a cup of coffee, sitting beside Rose. “Glenn wouldn’t be upset that it took this long. He’d just say, ‘It’s about time you guys showed up.’ ”

Another announcement will be made at the game as well:

The league will also announce that Billy Bean, who played six seasons in the majors and came out publicly in 1999, four years after he retired, will work with the league on its inclusion efforts.

Read the full NYT article on Burke here.

A documentary on Burke's life premiered back in 2010. You can watch the trailer HERE.

The SF Chronicle wrote at the time about Burke's experience:

"Burke made little secret of his sexuality during his time with the Dodgers and A's in the late 1970s. Several former teammates contend this bothered management of both clubs, to the point where the Dodgers traded Burke to Oakland and then-A's manager Billy Martin later ridiculed him in front of his teammates. He abruptly retired from baseball in 1980, publicly revealed his homosexuality two years later and landed in San Francisco's Castro district, where he initially was welcomed warmly. But his life there eventually spun out of control, sending him spiraling toward drug use, prison time and AIDS. He died of complications from the disease in May 1995, at age 42."


Former College Football Player And NFL Prospect Brad Thorson: ‘I’m Gay’

Thorson

Brad Thorson, a former college football player who played as an offensive lineman for both Wisconsin and Kansas and was briefly with the Arizona Cardinals, came out as gay in a blog post published on July 4th:

I've been told many times that the process of coming out is cathartic. Yet since coming to terms with my sexuality, I found it arduous and unnecessary. At least that's what I kept telling myself. So today, I'm putting it in writing and not looking back.

I'm gay.

I'm also an athlete. For years, I struggled to unite these two identities in my own mind. Not until after my professional athletic career came to an end did I allow myself to understand my sexuality. Now, three years later, I'm finally ready to share that with people.

Thorson, whose time in the NFL was shortened by a broken foot, decided to leave football behind him after a brief stint with the Canadian Football League's Regina Roughriders.

In his post, Thorson also commented on the influence other out gay athletes have had on him and how he hopes to be able to offer solace and inspiration to other gay athletes who have yet to come out:

If not for the strength of athletes like Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and Brian Sims, I would likely still be struggling with my own cognitive dissonance. Each of their stories reinforced the truth that there is nothing wrong with being a competitive athlete and gay. Just as their stories helped me come to understand and accept myself, I've gotten to a point in my life where I hope to help someone else to understand his or her identity as a gay athlete. […]

This year has been quite a journey for me. I consider myself incredibly lucky for the opportunities I've had, my amazing friends and family, and to live at a time of great progress in gay rights. I wish that I could've shared this part of my life with more people individually but I'm also ready to move forward. My hope in coming out is that at least one other gay athlete will understand he or she isn't alone and that it really does get better.

Thorson’s post also chronicles how joining gay rugby team the Fog and meeting the mother of gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham, who was himself a member of that team, helped him in his journey to reconciling being gay with being an athlete. 

Thorson told OutSports that he had wanted to write that post "many times before but just didn't have the right words to say.”

Thorson later took to Instagram to share his father’s response to him coming out. In an email, Thorson’s father wrote:  

Each of you have brought so many special blessing to me and taught me how hard and yet joyful it is to be a father. It would be a lie to say I wasn't shocked when you came out to Mom and I but, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my level of tolerance and understanding given my years of intolerance.  It is quite amazing to me how blindly bigoted I have allowed myself to be and for what?  I think we fear what we don’t fully understand, like the monster under the bed, there’s really nothing there to be afraid of! I have always and will always be the biggest advocate (except for your mom) for my kids.  You all mean the world to us and today I celebrate the joy of having all of you in my life. 

Read Thorson's declaration of independence, HERE.


Australian Rugby Player Josh Mansour Gets an Ice Bath in a Speedo: VIDEO

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Josh Mansour, a player for the National Rugby League in Australia, lost some sort of challenge for which he was forced to be given an ice bath by fellow players, which he then posted to Instagram. Here's to more losses.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Australian Rugby Player Josh Mansour Gets an Ice Bath in a Speedo: VIDEO" »


Anti-Discrimination 'Task Force' Needed For 2018 World Cup In Russia

FIFA report into anti-gay chants at the World Cup

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has said that a special task force will be needed to deal with homophobia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, reports DNA India.

Although FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff had pledged to use this year’s World Cup as a platform against racism and discrimination, FIFA has awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia despite the implementation of anti-gay laws in the country.

FIFA has also failed to properly address homophobic and racist chants at World Cup fixtures.

Speaking at FIFA’s daily media briefing, Jeffrey Webb, the organization's vice president and head of the Anti-Discrimination Task Force, said:

"It is obvious there is a disconnect between what we in the Task Force deem as racism and discrimination and what the Disciplinary Committee deems as racism and discrimination."

According to DNA India, a proposed Task Force that trained anti-discrimination officers was not accepted by FIFA. Another official said that although there was not enough time to train anti-discrimination officers for this year’s World Cup, training will start for future events.

Watch a report on the investigation of anti-gay chants by Mexico fans, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Discrimination 'Task Force' Needed For 2018 World Cup In Russia" »


National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Announces New Inductees

HallofFameSideProof3It's been almost a year since the first-ever inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame were honored in Chicago. Included were big-name athletes such as Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, Jason Collins, and Johnny Weir.

This year, on July 11, a new crop of athletes and organizations will be honored in The Windy City. Among them will be: baseball player William ‘Billy’ Bean of the San Diego Padres, British diver Tom Daley, and rugby player Mark Bingham — who is known both as the namesake of the Bingham Cup and for his tragic death on United 93 in the 9/11 attacks.

Football fans will note the absence of NFL newbie Michael Sam. While Sam is still green in his career, it's worth noting that the list includes three former NFL players who came out as gay after their time in the league ended: Esera Tuaolo, Wade Davis, and Jerry Smith (deceased 1986, a casualty of the AIDS epidemic).

While some of the most visible inductees are LGBT athletes, organizations (e.g. Nike) and sports businesspeople are also included. As are straight allies — deceased San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (portrayed by Victor Garber in Milk) is also included in the list. The complete "roster" of inductees, via GNN:


John Amaechi, retired NBA player;
 Mark Bingham, rugby player (deceased); Tom Daley, Olympic medal winning diver
; Wade Davis, executive director of You Can Play and retired NFL player
; Fallon Fox, mixed martial artist
; Brittney Griner, decorated collegiate athlete, active WNBA player
; Mayor George Moscone, straight ally, former Mayor of San Francisco (deceased)
; Chris Mosier, founder of transathlete.com
; Nike, corporation
; Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer
; Jerry Smith, NFL player (deceased)
; Stand Up Foundation, anti-bullying non-profit organization
; Gareth Thomas, retired rugby player
; Esera Tuaolo, retired NFL player.


Russian Priest Says World Cup Is A 'Homosexual Abomination' Because of Colorful Shoes: VIDEO

Russian soccer team

Writing in his column on Christian website Russian People’s Line, Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Shumsky has denounced the World Cup as a “homosexual abomination” because of the brightly colored boots worn by players.

Claiming that the boots resemble the “gay rainbow,” Shumsky goes on to say that “wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women's panties or a bra," reports The Moscow Times.

Also unimpressed with some of the “unthinkable” hairstyles sported by players, Shumsky continues that “the liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination.”

Shumsky’s outburst comes amid allegations of racist and homophobic behavior by fans at World Cup matches and FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia despite the country’s implementation of harsh laws against the “promotion of homosexuality.”

Russia played only three matches in the World Cup, none of which they managed to win.

Watch a report on a protest against homophobia and chauvinism at the World Cup, AFTER THE JUMP...

Shoes

Continue reading "Russian Priest Says World Cup Is A 'Homosexual Abomination' Because of Colorful Shoes: VIDEO" »


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