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WNBA Becomes First Pro Sports League to Debut Marketing Campaign Specifically for LGBT Fans: VIDEO

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Earlier this week, the WNBA launched a marketing campaign to help recruit LGBT fans to its games, becoming the first professional sports league to do so.

The AP reports:

The effort, which begins with the launch of a website Wednesday, includes having teams participate in local pride festivals and parades, working with advocacy groups to raise awareness of inclusion through grassroots events, and advertising with lesbian media. A nationally televised pride game will take place between Tulsa and Chicago on Sunday, June 22. All 12 teams will also have some sort of pride initiative over the course of the season.

"For us it's a celebration of diversity and inclusion and recognition of an audience that has been with us very passionately," WNBA President Laurel Richie said. "This is one of those moments in the 'W' where everybody comes together."

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 2.48.41 PMBrittney Griner, one of the handful of openly gay WNBA athletes, praised the new campaign and said she plans on wearing rainbow-colored shoes during the month of June in support of the initiative.

"I'm so glad that we're finally making a push to the LGBT community who is a strong supporter of the WNBA," said Griner, who served as grand marshal of the Phoenix Pride parade last season. "Our league being the first to make that push and bring more attention to it is great. We'll pave the way and show its fine and there's nothing wrong with it. More sports need to do it. It's 2014, it's about time."

Check out the AP interview with Griner, AFTER THE JUMP...

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WNBA Players Receive Personal Fouls After On-Court Kiss: VIDEO

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Nothing but a little friendly competition right? Context via USA Today:

Diana Taurasi and Seimone Augustus were defending each other during Thursday night's WNBA conference finals game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Phoenix Mercury. As the commentators note, Taurasi and Augustus have known each other for a very long time and there is genuine affection to complement the competition.

Apparently, that affection crossed the line for the referee Thursday night. Both players were called for fouls after squaring up and then pecking each other on the cheek.

Seemed pretty harmless to me.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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WNBA Player Sophia Young Speaks Out Against Gay Marriage, San Antonio LGBT Protections

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Sophia Young, a star player with the WNBA's Silver Stars of San Antonio, was one of the hundreds who prayed against an LGBT anti-discrimination bill at San Antonio City Hall yesterday.

She posted a photo of herself on Twitter yesterday holding up a placard reading "Vote No". Given what she tweeted, however, she seemed to think that the anti-discrimination bill, to be voted on by the San Antonio City Council in early September, would also somehow legalize same-sex marriage.

Tweeted Young: "My vote is still No... San Antonio should not allows Same sex marriages."

It was her second tweet in a day about the issue. The first read, "Should San Antonio be a city that allows same sex marriage?? I vote NO."


Out Lesbian Player Brittney Griner Breaks WNBA Dunks Record in Her First Game: VIDEO

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Brittney Griner, the top WNBA draft pick who came out of the closet in April, broke the WNBA's dunks record in her first game, NBC Sports reports:

The biggest name to hit the WNBA in years didn’t disappoint in her first game — she became the first WNBA player ever to dunk twice in one game (she is only third player in the league ever to dunk). Griner had 17 points and 3 rebounds in her debut.

Griner's team, the Phoenix Mercury, lost 102-80 to the Chicago Sky.

Watch Griner dunk, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Out Lesbian Player Brittney Griner Breaks WNBA Dunks Record in Her First Game: VIDEO" »


Brittney Griner Claims College Coach Told Her To Hide Sexuality

In a new interview with ESPN, Brittney Griner has revealed that Baylor University head coach Kim Mulkey asked her to conceal the fact that she was gay and claimed that not doing so might jeopardize recruitment for the team. 

BritESPN reports:

In a series of interviews -- including one on camera Friday -- for an ESPN The Magazine and espnW.com story set to hit newsstands later this month, Griner said her silence during college was because Mulkey and her staff were concerned about the program's image.

"It was more of a unwritten law [to not discuss your sexuality] ... it was just kind of, like, one of those things, you know, just don't do it," Griner said Friday. "They kind of tried to make it, like, 'Why put your business out on the street like that?'" 

But Griner reiterated on Friday that her sexuality was an open secret at Baylor.

"I told Coach [Mulkey] when she was recruiting me. I was like, 'I'm gay. I hope that's not a problem,' and she told me that it wasn't," Griner said. "I mean, my teammates knew, obviously they all knew. Everybody knew about it."

Watch the ESPN interview with Griner, in which she addresses the above, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Brittney Griner Claims College Coach Told Her To Hide Sexuality" »


WNBA Top Draft Pick Brittney Griner Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Brittney Griner, the  three-time All-America centre at Baylor who was the top pick in Monday's WNBA draft and is now headed to play for the Phoenix Mercury spoke about her sexuality for the first time in an interview Wednesday with SI.com.

GrinerSaid Griner when asked by SI host Maggie Gray why there's a difference between acceptance of gays in men's versus women's sports:

"I really couldn't give an answer on why that's so different. Being one that's out, it's just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don't worry about what other people are going to say, because they're always going to say something, but, if you're just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don't hide who you really are."

Gray asks how difficult it was for her to come out:

"It really wasn't too difficult, I wouldn't say I was hiding or anything like that. I've always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasn't hard at all. If I can show that I'm out and I'm fine and everything's OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way."

Watch the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "WNBA Top Draft Pick Brittney Griner Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


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