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May: A great month for good gay news in sports

posted by Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 2:52pm EDT

A weekly commentary on sports news, sports competition, media, research and people related to addressing homophobia, heterosexism, sexism and racism in sport.

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Wow, it is difficult to even know where to start with all the gay happenings in sports this month. And I mean gay as in happy and gay as in sexual orientation. I’m talking about men’s professional team sports here for the most part: The place where some people think that a gay athlete could never come out and be accepted, where a gay athlete who is still an active player has never come out. I don’t think I can remember a month when it seems like there is so much happening that I can’t keep up. What a great feeling. OK, so here are some (I am sure I missed something) of the gay happenings in May (in no particular order):

Roger McDowell, Atlanta Braves coach, is suspended for some really stupid and homophobic remarks addressed to some fans in San Francisco. OK, the incident wasn’t so great, but the response was.


Former Olympian, Peter Vidmar, resigns as Chef de Mission for the London Olympic Games after his activism against marriage equality is revealed.

The New York Times features an article about straight ally athletes, Hudson Taylor and Ben Cohen, who are making major efforts to enlist straight athletes to stand up against homophobia in sport.

New York Ranger, Sean Avery, makes a public endorsement of marriage equality.

A Public Service Announcement by GLSEN and the NBA for the Think B4 You Speak Campaign featuring Grant Hill and Jared Dudley stands a stand against anti-gay name-calling in sports airs during the NBA play offs.

Phoenix Suns President, Rick Welts, comes out as a gay man and the Suns organization in general is cited for taking progressive stances on immigration reform and on anti-gay name-calling in sports with their participation in the GLSEN/NBA PSA.

Finally, Sean Chapin, who has been a persistent and effective LGBT rights advocate with his wonderful videos, has succeeded in getting the San Francisco Giants to make a video for the It Gets Better project.

It kinda makes you wonder what June will bring. Women athlete allies are you listening? May was for the guys, can we hear from more women athletes and women’s sports organizations in June?

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