Showing posts with label Homophobia/Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homophobia/Sports. Show all posts

March 1, 2017

NYxKnicks Amar’e Stoudemire says He Will Rather Shower in The Street Than with a Gay Teammate




 

Former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire says he would take measures to avoid a teammate if he found out that player is gay.

"I'm going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner," Stoudemire said in an interview with Israeli website Walla Sport. "And I'm going to drive -- take a different route to the gym."

Asked if he was joking, Stoudemire responded, "I mean, there's always a truth within a joke."

Stoudemire is playing for Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli Premier League. Some teammates interviewed for the piece said they "wouldn't have an issue" with a gay teammate.

While he was playing for the Knicks, Stoudemire was fined $50,000 after he tweeted a gay slur at another user during the 2012 offseason.

At the time of the fine, Stoudemire issued an apology through a statement.

"I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people," he said. "I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse."

[Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.]

Fifteen years ago, when Suns rookie Amar’e Stoudemire moved into his first Phoenix home, a neighbor welcomed him with a plate of cookies. Unsure of how to respond, the 19-year-old improvised and delivered a pair of signed basketball shoes.

If only Stoudemire continued to react with such tact.

The former NBA player’s comments Tuesday that he would “shower across the street” if he learned a teammate was gay was further proof that we’re a society still struggling to adapt to the more-transparent face of pro sports, one that includes gay athletes, officials and administrators.

It’s time to trade the vitriol for compassion, ignorance for education, hysteria for patience.

Few feel comfortable discussing the reality: Gay athletes exist in professional locker rooms. If 3.8 percent of the population is gay, as a recent study by UCLA’s Williams Institute suggests, then approximately 64 NFL players, 29 baseball players, 26 NHL players and 17 NBA players are, too. Even if the numbers are lower, it still says something that no active athlete in the four major men's sports has come out.

Dialogue is needed. League leadership should set the example. 

At least the NBA has. During last year’s LGBT Pride Parade in New York City, the NBA and WNBA became the first professional sports leagues to march in the event, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver wearing an #OrlandoUnited T-shirt in remembrance of the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub that killed 49.

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have held special LGBT events, but they are more the exception than the rule.

Locally, the Mercury annually celebrate with a Pride event and the Coyotes have held an LGBT night. In fact, the Coyotes’ Reebok Gray Rainbow Pride T-shirt is a top-seller among T-shirts on NHL.com.

But many other pro teams are hesitant to do anything. One reason is personal beliefs by executives. Some have told me such events are hard to reconcile with their Christianity.

An article in the Christian Post last year called for NFL players to “threaten a boycott if the NFL continues to be an aggressive tool of gay activism and an aggressive opponent of religious liberty.”

That’s the ideal example of an argument that demands discussion – civil discord, not finger-pointing and pejoratives. Both sides would benefit from thoughtful debate, but as the presidential election has taught us, passion leaves little room for healthy conversation.

We don’t have to agree.

We just have to talk about it.

And compassion should extend in all directions. 

Stoudemire, who is playing for Hapoel Jerusalem in the Israeli Premier League, made his comments after an Israeli Web site reporter asked him what he would do if he learned a teammate was gay.

When asked if his comments were a joke, he said, “I mean, there’s always a truth within a joke.”

He later issued an apology saying he was a “huge supporter of civil rights for all people.”

His quick apology was important. People say dumb things all the time. It shouldn’t shape him. It’s how he moves forward that matters.
 
Former WNBA player Candice Wiggins found herself in the headlines recently when she told the San Diego Union-Tribune she was bullied by other league players.

“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” she said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.

“There was a lot of jealousy and competition, and we’re all fighting for crumbs. The way I looked, the way I played – those things contributed to the tension.”
 
The good news is this is a conversation we weren’t having a decade ago. And while many are concerned Wiggins’ comments are playing into stereotypes, we shouldn’t be so quick to attack her either. She felt something, perceived or otherwise, and it should be examined.

Former Mercury player Monique Currie, now with the San Antonio Stars, put it best in her personal blog when she said that if Wiggins “was bullied because she was ‘proud to be a woman,’ then these feelings are real and we cannot discount what she felt,” but also that “Wiggins needs to check her privilege at the door, and not group her very unfortunate personal experiences on an entire group of women.”

She added that “in my 11 seasons in the WNBA I've never witnessed the kind of bullying Wiggins describes in her interview. This does not mean it did not happen, but I'm proud to be a part of a league that supports inclusion and celebrates all players regardless of their race, religion or sexuality. We are a family made up of players that love and respect the game of basketball.”

Isn’t that ultimately what matters, that all of us – fans, players, owners – love and respect the sports we watch/play/rule?

Let’s continue to talk about them, With civility.

Reach Paola Boivin at paola.boivin@arizonarepublic.com and on Twitter at Twitter.com/PaolaBoivin.  

October 18, 2016

Out Premier League Players Face ‘Significant abuse’


Ex-Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger revealed he is gay after finishing playing in England


Thomas Hitzlsperger














 Premier League players would still suffer "significant abuse" if they chose to reveal they are gay, Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has warned.
Clarke was answering Commons Select Committee questions at the government's governance of football inquiry.
"I'm cautious of encouraging people to come out until we do our part of the bargain and stamp out abuse," he said.
"I am personally ashamed they don't feel safe to come out."
Justin Fashanu became the first player in England to come out as gay in 1990, but took his own life aged 37 in 1998. No male professional player has come out while playing in England since.
Former Germany and Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger became the first player with Premier League experience to publicly reveal his homosexuality, in January 2014, after he had finished playing in England.
Former England women's captain Casey Stoney was the first active footballer to come out in England since Fashanu, in February 2014.
"I would be amazed if we haven't got gay players in the Premier League," Clarke added.
Clarke was questioned about a Daily Mirror article from 2015 that claimed two Premier League players, including an England international, had been preparing to come out.
The Mirror also alleged a Premier League player came out to his team-mates in 2011, but did not go public after a homophobic slur was painted on his car.
Clarke, 49, denied knowing the identity of the players - and told the committee members he would not name them even if he did.
Clarke also cited the weekend's League Two fixture between Leyton Orient and Luton Town, at which homophobic chanting was reported, saying he would "come down like a tonne of bricks" on anyone found guilty.
"If I was a gay man, why would I expose myself to that?" Clarke asked.

"Before we encourage people to come out we must provide the safe space where they have the expectation to play or watch football and not get abused.
"There's a very small minority of people who hurl vile abuse at people who they perceive are different. Our job is to stamp down hard on their behaviour."
Asked what would happen if a Premier League player came out, Clarke said: "There would be significant abuse because we haven't cracked the problem. 
"I was at Egham Town v St Albans in the FA Cup. There were about 300 people and everybody knew everybody else, there was no vile abuse.
"When you're in a big crowd, you're anonymous and the bad people get brave.
"The good news is we're not in denial. We may not have figured out how to crack it yet but there's a deep loathing of that sort of behaviour within football."
Clarke said he would next week attend his first FA inclusion advisory board, which provides guidance on all equality matters.

BBC

August 4, 2016

Chicago Fire Soccer Club Stops Anti Gay Chants on Its Tracks




The following article was published by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass who weighs in on Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriquez’s decision to take to the pitch before Sunday’s game to tell fans they can no longer use a derogatory chant popular in Mexico. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

Fans chant for their team

 
My favorite team, the Chicago Fire, isn't the best soccer club in the world. They're in last place in their league, although they have a chance to get into the finals of the U.S. Open Cup.

Last year I was so depressed, I advocated hiring the Grim Reaper as a mascot. This year, despite the pain, I'm weirdly optimistic about the future.

But I'm not writing today about soccer on the field.

I’m writing about the stellar character of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club and its decision to take a stand against an infamous anti-gay chant common among soccer-crazy Mexican fans. 
When a business — and the Fire is a business — stands up for honor and principle and against behavior common to a core fan group that buys tickets — that's a story.

The other night at Toyota Park, I was sitting with my sons — both in college and current soccer players — when Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez walked out onto the field alone.

It was "Pride" night. The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus had finished a fine rendition of the national anthem before Sunday's game with the New York Red Bulls.

That's when Rodriguez walked into the center circle and did something the rest of the soccer world doesn't seem able to do.

Soccer fans need to stop with the offensive chants
Soccer fans need to stop with the offensive chants
He looked up into the stands and announced that any fan found to be using the infamous anti-gay Mexican soccer chant would be booted out of the stadium.

"An inappropriate and offensive chant has been used by some of our fans," Rodriguez said. "It is unbecoming and certainly not reflective of the great city that we live in, and the best fans in major league soccer.

"Please be advised that if the chant continues and you are found to be participating, you are subject to removal. If you are near fans using offensive language, please advise stadium security so we can handle that as well."

And all I could say was "bravo."

There were a few boos. But most of us applauded him. And I didn't hear that chant once during the game.

If you know soccer, you know the chant I'm talking about, a chant of one word:

Puto.

It means effeminate man whore. It is ugly and demeaning, directed at gay men in a macho culture, but at soccer games it is directed at the goalie of the opposing team.

 
Some apologists insist that it's not an anti-gay chant, per se, and that it's ingrained in Mexican soccer culture.

But a 2015 story about the "puto" chant in SB Nation written by Jim Buzinski explained it best. He interviewed Andres Aradillas-Lopez, a Penn State economics professor who was born and raised in Mexico and is an ardent fan of the Mexican national team.

Aradillas-Lopez is not gay, but he loathes the term and rebuts the apologists this way.

"What they omit to say is that 'puto' has always been a derogatory term used against gay men and, therefore, is a gay slur. In the macho universe, gay men are a subset of the universe of 'putos' (I would like them to tell me why, then, do they not chant 'puta' at women's soccer games)."

If you've watched any soccer involving the Mexican national team, you've heard it coming through on broadcasts. Sometimes 100,000 Mexican fans will scream it, and in games against the U.S. team, they shout it in once voice, at the American goalie, when he punts the ball forward on a goal kick.

It was shouted at other teams as well in the Copa America tournament here this summer. Mexico has a great team. I picked them to win that tournament. They lost, but the nation of Mexico loses face every time the fans shout the term.

The international governing body of soccer, FIFA, has been unable to stop it. But maybe that's because Mexican fans buy tickets, and the sport doesn't want to lose money.

One way to stop it is to penalize the Mexican national team, strip it of points or order the team to play in empty stadiums, without their fans. But that would cost money.

I hate hearing it. I didn't want my wife and kids to hear it when the kids were young soccer players.

I'm not your thought police. If you wish to use such language at home, be my guest. But an organized chant in a public place where I'm paying for a ticket? No thank you.

The Fire have put out public service announcements asking fans to respect each other. But they had had enough. So Nelson Rodriguez took that walk and said his piece.

"This chant is offensive," he told me in an interview at Toyota Park. "It's vulgar, it's inappropriate and it runs contrary I think — even in my short time here — to the spirit of Chicago, which at every turn I just find is warm and welcoming and friendly, and I'm of Latino descent."

The chant, he said, "is not clever or creative, or catchy or appropriate in any way. Yeah, I'm not deaf. I heard a smattering of boos. But that's a very small minority of fans, and I don't care if they don't return. In fact, personally, if they are booing the message as opposed to booing the messenger, go find another team to support."

Rodriguez says there is no victory without honor. He's right.

The Chicago Fire won't always be in last place. And today, they’re champions.




Twitter @John_Kass

May 23, 2016

The Padres Humiliate The Gay Men Chorus on the Field



                                                                                                                                                

It should have been a fun night at the ballpark Saturday in San Diego for anyone not rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it became an evening filled with confusion and hurt feelings for some before the game even started.

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was invited to sing the National Anthem at the “Out at the Park” event at Petco Park and 100 volunteer members were on hand to participate. But when the moment arrived, the chorus was forced to stand on the field and listen to a recording of a woman singing the anthem instead, and the Padres never took any action to correct what the organization said was a mistake, such as allowing the chorus to perform after the recorded anthem ended.  
Making matters worse, members of the chorus reported being booed and heckled as they were ushered off the field following the recorded anthem, including at least one taunt of "You sing like a girl."

The gay men’s chorus has performed at Padres games multiple times in the past, including just last season (see the video below). So there was no reason to suspect there would be anything unusual about Saturday’s performance.

The Padres explained what happened as a control room mistake and apologized in a brief statement. Padres president Mike Dee contacted the chorus to apologize and offered to meet with the group.

****
****
On Sunday morning, dissatisfied with the explanation from the Padres and Dee’s attempt to smooth things over, SDGMC executive director Bob Lehman issued a statement calling for the Padres and Major League Baseball to investigate the incident. Lehman also asked the City of San Diego to investigate to determine whether hate crimes had been committed. The full statement from Lehman is below.
****
SAN DIEGO, May 22, 2016—What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park last night, instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community.
Before the start of the last night’s San Diego Padres game, 100 volunteer singers of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus took to the field to proudly sing the National Anthem. Instead, in front of the large crowd gathered for the LA Dodgers game, the San Diego Padres played the recorded voice of a woman singing the anthem.
No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over. No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands. No attempt to correct the situation occurred other than to force the 100 men to stand in the spotlight of center field for the song’s duration and then be escorted off the field to the heckles of baseball fans shouting homophobic taunts including “You sing like a girl.”
This incident followed several days of troubling comments and behavior within the San Diego Padres organization. Three days before the game, San Diego Padres representatives aggressively sought to prevent singers from performing the National Anthem unless they purchased a ticket to the game—even if they did not plan to stay for the game—which was not part of any previous discussion or written or verbal agreement and would have cost the small, community-based non-profit thousands of dollars. The demand eventually was rescinded on Friday following repeated complaints made by SDGMC and San Diego Pride to San Diego Padres management.
With this as background, we call on the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball to immediately launch a full and transparent investigation into the incident to determine if someone or some people intentionally engaged in anti-gay discrimination or a hate crime by playing a female’s voice to represent a group of gay men with the purpose of denigrating and/or ridiculing gay men. The historic significance of such an act is not lost on the LGBT community—especially in relation to professional sports—and added to the depth of embarrassment experienced by the singers and their families.
We also call upon the City of San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission to independently investigate this incident to determine if members of the San Diego Padres organization engaged in activity in violation of the San Diego Human Rights Ordinance or engaged in any deliberate hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
We applaud San Diego Padres President and Chief Executive Office Mike Dee for reaching out to our organization to apologize and to offer to meet with LGBT leaders to discuss the incident. We look forward to this meeting. We believe it is important to work together with the San Diego Padres organization to build bridges within the LGBT community rather than burn them down as happened last night.
However, we are very disappointed with the San Diego Padres dismissively brief two sentence statement at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2016 which did not appropriately address the gravity of the situation nor pay due to the 100 volunteers who took to the field in celebration and were led off in humiliation.
The game was probably an afterthought for those involved in the pregame ugliness. The Padres won 3-2 in the 11th inning when Yangervis Solarte drew a bases-loaded walk to end the game.
 

Buzzfeed
Yahoo Sports 




April 12, 2016

Homophobia is so Queer it doesn’t care if the Subject might be Straight, bi or gay


Homophobia like all phobias doesn't take into account the truth or how the real world is. If it did it would not be an out of control or unjust response to something it imagines it might be there hiding and only brought out by violence or the thread of violence or the cat calls. These maladjust people think they can control the behavior of others by being abusive and contrary to how things are and they have no power to change. Homophobia might keep someone in the closet but it can’t change how the person is and who can transmit the chemistry to turn another of the same sex on.
                                                                         _*_
One of the queerest things about homophobia is that many of its targets are not actually homo. Not because homophobia is a blunt, inaccurate baseball bat—though that as well—but because homophobia is used as a way of policing all men’s behavior, whatever their actual sexual orientation or their preference of whom they like to play with not fuck. It intends to just bring guys down to a satisfying peg or two That’s so GAY!! What are you, a FAG??etc. etc.
Now that overt homophobia is increasingly uncool and sometimes illegal, it perhaps tends to be directed even more at men who are not officially gay or bi—albeit in a “joshing” way. Especially if they’re hotter and much more famous, wealthy, and talented than you—and we’re talking about football (disclaimer: soccer in the US).
During last week’s match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, the 31-year-old Portuguese football ace and underwear god Cristiano Ronaldo—Real’s star player—was targeted from the stands with chants of “MARICON,” the Spanish equivalent of “faggot.” Apparently this has been going on for a while.
Francisco Ramirez the director of the Spanish LGBT Observatory said: “For months the Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo has been the continued object of insults and malicious rumours from the tabloids, and also from sports journalists and…players, in order to humiliate, offend and denigrate a great football player.”
Ronaldo is, by the way, not just a great football player—he’s one of the greatest of all time. He’s also currently the highest paid footballer in the world, which of course just makes him and his prettiness all the more intolerable. Ronaldophobia is perfectly understandable, really.
ronaldo-2.jpeg
“It is necessary to clarify,” added Ramirez, “that homophobia does not necessarily mean that people who suffer are homosexual, but only that other people believe it or use it to insult, harass and humiliate others.”
I have no burning interest in Ronaldo’s “real” sexual orientation—someone who has reportedly been involved with a series of female supermodels. But lots of people do—straight and gay. Last year a photo of him horsing around with his bearded Moroccan kick-boxing buddy Badh Hari was seized upon by many as “proof” that Ronaldo is GAY!! (it’s never lower-case “gay”— and of course never, ever "bi"). Football pundits “worried” on TV that “cuddling” his buddy would “affect his performance.”
ronaldo-3.jpg
Football is a very odd game indeed.
Perhaps I don’t have enough imagination, or perhaps I’m just not repressed enough, but when I saw the photos I only saw two young men enjoying each other’s company and, rather wonderfully, not being afraid to show it. Not afraid, in other words, that people would think them…GAY!!
I also found myself wondering that if they were actually having a secret gay relationship they might have been rather more inhibited— and Hari might not have have captioned the pic of him picking up a grinning Ronaldo “Just married!”
But then, probably nobody really believed that the photos proved Ronaldo was having a gay romance— they were just a way to have a phobic little faux scandal and chastise him again for being a free, affectionate spirit with loads of money and talent and no modesty.
But however you interpret it, Ronaldo feels no need to deny rumors and the abuse or react to them at all. He really doesn’t give a shit what you or I think. Which is what drives so many of us—especially us English with our herd mentality—crazy.
When he played in the UK from 2003-2009 for Manchester United—the same club David Beckham had played for before moving to Real Madrid—Ronaldo was regularly abused from the terraces and also became the target of an especially vicious and sustained homophobic campaign from the UK media. Ronaldophobia was a national sport.
Unlike savvy, needy Beckham, proud Ronaldo didn’t go out of his way to curry favor with the press and play the self-deprecating game. Worse, he was younger, better looking, more talented—and, fatally, wasn’t English.
The UK’s biggest-selling tabloid repeatedly attacked the “arch metrosexual” as they dubbed him (as in, I guess, “arch villain” and “arched eyebrows”), for sunbathing too much, for wearing “tight silver shorts” on holiday, for his interest in grooming, his “perfectly shaved chest,” and generally being a big poof.
They even ran a piece comparing him to George Michael—who is also olive-skinned and GAY!! GEDDIT??—suggesting he fancies “playing for the other team,” and basically just shouting “MARICON!” at him over and over again.
Ronaldo’s response? He went on holiday wearing a pink baseball cap. With a pink flower behind his ear. After the UK press went predictably berserk again—including publishing photos of a male friend ACTUALLY TOUCHING HIM while he was wearing that GAY!! hat and GAY!! flower—he was pressed for a response: “I don’t see what is wrong with that if you are comfortable with your sexuality,” he replied, matter-of-factly.
ronaldo-4.jpeg
The English of course aren’t comfortable with anything. Least of all themselves. Which is where much of their Ronaldophobia came from—and will likely surge back again with a passion if he returns to Manchester United as has been rumoured lately.
In that recent match against Barcelona where he was called MARICON! by the terrace oafs, Ronaldo was as shameless as ever—scoring a stunning winning goal in the last few minutes. Then in the locker room afterwards he lost no time stripping down to his white Speedos and showing off his buff, tanned, shredded body in a team photo with the celebrating Real lads.
What a careless, thoughtless, utter bastard. Why can’t he show some respect for the feelings of ugly, untalented men everywhere? Whatever their sexuality.
BY MARK SIMPSON
out.com

Intro by Adam

March 7, 2016

Boxer Politician Manny Pacquiao Pays Price for Throwing Gays to Hell




                                                              



Eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is experiencing the brunt of the consequences of the previous remarks he made about same-sex marriage.

In mid-February, "Pacman" appeared on Philippine news outlet TV5 where he was asked about his stance on the said issue. Confidently, Pacquiao responded, bearing his strong religious beliefs with him.
"It's common sense," Pacquiao said in his native language.  ill you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?"

Pacquiao added that human beings are "worse than animals" because of the said behavior.
The Filipino boxing icon immediately received a ton of flak from his statements, evidently from the LGBT community. Pacquiao has since apologized for his statements but also noted that his stance about same-sex marriage remains unchanged.

Eventually, more personalities grew irate, including the likes of Magic Johnson, former WWE superstar Batista, and even former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who has been known as one of his friends and supporters
.
Apparel sponsor Nike also cut their ties with Pacquiao.
And it looks like the backlash has not ended. In a report by Edward Chaykovsky for Boxingscene, Pacquiao's political aspirations are also taking a hit back in his home country of the Philippines.
Chaykovsky's report took note of a recent Pulse Asia survey conducted on the Philippine senatorial candidates. In the said survey, Pacquiaos voter support took a massive drop, from 46.9% in January, to 34.8% in February when the said statements were made.


It is said to be the biggest drop among the senatorial candidates, with a 12.1% decrease.
Despite the issue that Pacquiao is facing, Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda says they still do not know what could have caused the major drop in ratings.
Pacquiao, who also currently serving as a Congressman of the Sarangani Province in the southern region of the country, is slated to take on his 66th and final fight on April 9 in a rubber match against former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
The fight will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

vinereport.com
Story image for manny pacquiao news from The Independent

January 21, 2016

LGBT Italy Says Sarri’s Homophobic Slur is an Everyday Occurrence in Football




       Coach Maurizio Sari  
Inter Coach Roberto Mancini called Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri “a racist and homophobe who should be drummed out of football.”
Maurizio Sarri’s alleged homophobic comments have sparked debate between two of Italy’s biggest gay rights organizations.

The issue emerged after a touchline row during Napoli’s 2-0 Coppa Italia defeat to Inter last night and Roberto Mancini accused Sarri of using homophobic slurs.

“We’ve been appealing to the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) for months to impose severe sanctions on homophobic insults that occur on football pitches and beyond,” said Antonello Sannino, delegate of the Arcigay association.

“It is truly absurd to see some very strong homophobic insults passed off as simple banter. This is one of the reasons why many young people abandon football.
“I want to point out I am not in any way pointing the finger at Sarri, because it would be futile. What I want to make clear is that this type of insult happens on the pitch every single day at all levels without anyone noticing.

“I want to make an important appeal to Sarri, inviting him to our march for LGBT rights on Saturday. I’d also be happy to meet Sarri face to face.
“I just hope this affair can help everyone move something forward. This is an important ‘assist’ to provide genuine change.”
The first openly gay Mayor in the Campania region, Giorgio Zinno of San Giorgio a Cremano, also urged a dialogue.

“Obviously Sarri’s words are to be stigmatised, because insults should not be allowed in football or in sport. Having said that, football pitches are still venues where insults are traded and set a poor example.
“I wouldn’t call the Napoli Coach homophobic. In a moment of rage he brought out his baser instincts and vented his frustration in a bad way. It’s also true this story has brought out a lot of false defenders of gay rights who wouldn’t care less in everyday life.

“If this row sparked people to genuinely take an interest in gay rights, then I’d welcome it, but instead I fear they will go back to watching football and shouting at the opposition rather than caring for others.
“It’s also fair to say I was at the stadium and the words you hear bandied about are terrible. Let’s be scandalised by all insults of that nature and not try to make a storm in a teacup.”
Another gay rights association, Gay Center, called for a lengthy ban for Sarri.

“Sarri already made homophobic comments two years ago,” declared spokesman Fabrizio Marrazzo.
“As a Neapolitan and Napoli fan, I am ashamed of Sarri’s words and we demand an exemplary punishment. We hope football can launch a genuine campaign against homophobia, as such a popular sport cannot allow for violent messages.”

Yesterday: Inter Coach Roberto Mancini called Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri “a racist and homophobe who should be drummed out of football.”
The pair clashed on the touchline after Adem Ljajic scored the second goal in Inter’s 2-0 Coppa Italia quarter-final win at the Stadio San Paolo.Mancini was sent off, but when he arrived to speak to Rai Sport after the game, he was livid.
“Sarri is a racist and men like him should be drummed out of football. I got up to ask the fourth official why there were five minutes of added time.
“Sarri then got up and shouted ‘p**f’ and ‘f****t’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.
“I am not remotely interested in talking about the game. A 60-year-old man who acts like this is shameful. You can argue, but this is shameful.
“I went to find him in the locker room and he apologised, but I want him to be ashamed of what he said. In England someone like him wouldn’t even be allowed to set foot on the touchline.”

 from football-italia.net

The Guardian:

The Internazionale manager, Roberto Mancini, became embroiled in a furious spat with his Napoli counterpart during the Italian Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night, which the Milan side won 2-0 after goals from Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic.
However, the result was quickly forgotten afterwards as a clearly shaken and furious Mancini told Rai TV about the exchange he had with the Napoli manager on the touchline.
 Roberto Mancini

Internazionale confirm Nemanja Vidic’s contract has been formally terminated
 Read more
“The confrontation on the touchline? You have to ask Sarri about that, he is a racist. People like him do not belong in football. He used racist words. I stood up to ask about the five minutes being added on and Sarri shouted ‘poof’ and ‘faggot’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.”
“People like him should not be in football. He is 60 years old. The fourth official heard but didn’t say anything. He came to see me in the changing room to apologise but he should really be ashamed of himself.”
Mancini was sent off towards the end of the game for remonstrating with the Napoli bench. Mancini did not see the second goal as he became involved in the heated exchange with the fourth official and then Sarri, and was ordered from the touchline.
The row began after the fourth official mistakenly indicated nine minutes of added time before changing his mind and showing five instead.
All Sarri had to say of the incident was “that he could not remember” what he said to Mancini and that “what is said on the pitch should stay on the pitch”.
Sarri is no stranger to controversy. Last year while still in charge of Empoli, he was fined €5,000 after a match against Varese after making a rude gesture towards fans but escaped punishment for making similar comments.
“Football has become a sport for fags,” said Sarri. “We suffered twice as many fouls, but we had more yellow cards. It’s a contact sport in Italy and but the whistle is blown a lot more than in England because of the interpretation by homosexuals.”

December 26, 2015

Sports You Can Play Group: ”Misogyny and Homophobia are just two sides of the same coin”


                                                                          
Raining men in all sports


The moment was almost bigger than 18-year-old Ashton Searls could handle. On a cold but bright day at MetLife Stadium, Searls husked his coat so his gray shirt with "You Can Play" and the New York Giants logo would show, and he jogged out to the middle of the turf field.

There were fireworks as each of the Giants ran through his group of LGBT students, friends and corporate supporters before the team played the undefeated Carolina Panthers.

 
"I almost had a heart attack, I wanted to pass out," Searls said with a smile, "but it was a good pass out."

The Giants' front office has been deliberate about its support of You Can Play, a group dedicated to the inclusion of LGBT athletes in sports, and other like-minded groups. In a recent interview with espnW, Giants owner John Mara described it as the "right thing to do."

Sports, particularly football, have been one of those cultural spaces where open homophobia has been most entrenched. We have seen it in the reaction to Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on live TV after the St. Louis Rams drafted him and in the slurs that are sometimes thrown around on the field during the game.

On Sunday, Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly joined in that unsporting tradition during a heated contest that came to resemble a steel-cage fight as much as a contest between an excellent young wide receiver and the talented cornerback assigned to cover him.

Those 90 representatives of the You Can Play Project and the Hetrick-Martin Institute in the plush fifth-floor suites filled with food and drink couldn't hear the specifics of what was said on the field, but the slurs might have sounded familiar.

Ballerina. Michael Jackson. These were some of the terms Norman used to describe Beckham in his official post-game news conference. Fellow Panthers cornerback Cortland Finnegan speculated their disagreement may have been over a "female." As he came off the field, Norman told Steve Overmyer of CBS, "F--- him, he's a b----."

Wade Davis, a former NFL player who is now the executive director of You Can Play, said misogyny and homophobia are just two sides of the same coin, and the language can inhibit gay players from feeling totally safe on a playing field.

"Men have been subconsciously trained to think of women as less than," Davis said. "Your sharpest weapon is to call someone a woman or female."

Davis said in the heat of the competition players revert back to what they know.

"I can say that because I did it," said Davis, who came out after he retired.

Davis said the Giants hosted him last year to discuss sports and sexuality with players and staff, and the 40-minute session turned into two hours -- "one of the best exchanges I've ever had with a team," he said. The first player who approached him afterward to talk about it later was Beckham, and the two have become friends.

Younger players like Beckham are less likely to fear a stigma for behavior that wouldn't fit with rigidly masculine expectations in football, Davis said. And yet Norman's gender-related taunts show that the cultural expectations are still there.

Davis said the taunts won't ruin their experience at the Giants -- that would be impossible -- but "it gives us another opportunity to have a nuanced conversation."

The invitation to the game was actually part of a larger exchange, when place-holder Zak DeOssie, tight end Jerome Cunningham and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams visited the group at the institute's Newark space.

Searls said when he was told they were going to a Giants game to sit "in a box" he was confused. "I was like, what kind of a box?" he says with a laugh.

During halftime Sunday, a diverse group of supporters discussed their journey with the kids, offering to help guide with advice or mentorship.

Anna Aagenes, a VP of program development, said the day had an impact on the students. High school is when LGBT kids start to drop out of sports over concerns they might not conform.

Said Aagenes, “One of the young girls in the program came up to me and said, 'I think I might play sports because there's a place for me."

December 21, 2015

Homophobic Sports Personality Tyson Fury is Protested At Belfast Ceremony



                                                                     
Tyson Fury 
Protesters picketing the Sports Personality of the Year 2015 ceremony in Belfast have said they are there to represent the 140,000 people who wanted the BBC to drop world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury from the shortlist.

One of the organisers of a demonstration comprised of gay and feminist groups angered by Fury’s homophobic and sexist remarks accused the corporation of hypocrisy by keeping Fury on the list.

John O’Doherty told the Guardian the BBC should have given Fury the same treatment as when former Manchester United manager and TV pundit Ron Atkinson was sacked by ITV in 2004 over racist remarks he made about the former Chelsea and France defender Marcel Desailly.

Atkinson’s remarks, made during post-match analysis of the Monaco v Chelsea Champions League semi-final first leg match, were broadcast in several places in the Middle East, including Dubai and Egypt.

O’Doherty said Fury’s comments about gay people and women were as offensive as Atkinson’s remarks were back then.

Speaking outside the SSE Arena on Sunday evening O’Doherty, from the Rainbow Project gay rights group in Northern Ireland, said: “If Tyson Fury had made overtly racist remarks the BBC would have quite rightly dropped him from the show tonight. Yet it seems he can make homophobic and sexist comments and the BBC has no problem having him as one of the nominees. 

“Ron Atkinson was correctly sacked from ITV after making racist comments and the BBC should have taken exactly the same position over Fury’s remarks.”

O’Doherty said he and his fellow protesters were there to “represent the 140,000-plus people who signed a Facebook petition calling for Fury to be taken off the nomination list. The BBC ignored what these people were saying so we are here tonight to give them a voice.”

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Fury had said: “There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia.”

Fury also remarked that another athlete on this year’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill “slaps up good”, before adding that “a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back”. 

O’Doherty denied that he and the other organisations picketing Sunday night’s live event – the Rainbow Project, Cara-Friend, HereNI and Fight4Equality – were trying to shut down Fury’s right to speak his mind.

“Broadcasters would not tolerate racist comments as was the case with Ron Atkinson and the BBC is a public service broadcaster and is financed by the public. So the BBC has a duty to protect its viewers and listeners from hate speech. Besides, if you are talking about free speech why did the BBC suspend one of its own journalists for openly criticising the decision to keep Tyson Fury on the nomination list?” O’Doherty said.

Courtney Robinson, from the gropup Fight4Equality, said: “In Tyson Fury’s neandarthal world view, women are merely objects designed to entertain and serve men. He thinks our bodies are simply vessels for reproduction and we shouldn’t be allowed to choose for ourselves whether or not we want to have children.

“It is disgraceful that the BBC has allowed him to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year. His personality is obnoxious and he should not be feted as a role model for young people.”

Ruth McCarthy said: “I don’t think it is okay for a personality award to go to somebody who says things that are very damaging to gay people and to women. In this day and age, I just don’t think it is appropriate.

“It is coming up to Christmas and there are people who won’t be going home for Christmas because they are estranged from their families because homophobia has been perpetuated. The BBC should really be ashamed of themselves for this.”

BBC Northern Ireland suspended news presenter Andy West after he publicly criticised the corporation over Fury’s shortlisting. West said he was “ashamed” to work at the BBC over its decision to ignore a Facebook campaign calling for Fury to be taken off the list.

Security was tight around the SSE Arena on the river Lagan, with armed police patrols and road checks. The security operation has been put in place to counter any potential attack by dissident republicans. It is the first time ever that Sports Personality of the Year has been broadcast from Northern Ireland.

Ireland 

April 17, 2015

Anti Gay Christian Player told by Mets to Shut it down




Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Major League Baseball player has been told by his team, the New York Mets, to keep his religious views to himself and only talk about the sport in public after he expressed his Christian view of homosexuality.
Reporters asked Mets infielder Daniel Murphy to comment on his team’s decision to sign up openly homosexual player Billy Bean, dubbed Major League Baseball's "inclusion ambassador" by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, to attend spring training camp.
Murphy said that, from his Christian perspective, he doesn't condone Bean's lifestyle but would welcome him to the team.
"I disagree with his lifestyle," Murphy said. "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual.”
“That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him,” he quickly added. “I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. – getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them, but I do disagree with the lifestyle 100 percent."
Murphy said that while this development was "uncharted territory” because he had never had an openly homosexual teammate in the past, it could be an opportunity for discussion and understanding.
"Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven't been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality," Murphy said. "We love the people. We disagree [with] the lifestyle. That's the way I would describe it for me.”
He admitted that “there are aspects of my life that I'm trying to surrender to Christ in my own life...many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn't mean I'm just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door.
“That's not love,” he said. “That's not love at all."
Billy Bean responded positively to Murphy's comments, saying that he appreciated that "Daniel spoke his truth.”
"I have tremendous admiration and respect for Daniel Murphy as a family man. Just last year, he made the decision to miss opening day for the birth of his son, and was criticized by some members of the New York media for this choice. Murphy deserved to be commended for putting his family first and that decision — which led to an invitation to speak at the White House — showed he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes in," Beam wrote in an MLB.com column.
"After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth," Bean stated. "I really do.”
“He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment," Bean wrote.
"I respect him," Bean said of Murphy, "and I want everyone to know that he was respectful of me. We have baseball in common, and for now, that might be the only thing. But it's a start."
However, the day following Daniel Murphy's comments about Billy Bean's homosexual lifestyle made headlines, an article appeared in ESPN with the headline “Murphy now to talk baseball only,” saying a New York Mets spokesman had told the sports news service that Murphy "will no longer address his religious beliefs and will stick to baseball."
The spokesman did not say whether Murphy's job was in jeopardy because of his comments.
New York Mets
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August 28, 2014

ESPN Says sorry and ‘Michael Sam is waiting to shower not to make his teammates uncomfortable’(follow up)

Follow Up}}}Yesterday’s story was missing  a lot of details. I was able to get more info on this. There was a lot of interest on this story, so I hope this satisfies those readers.
One of the network’s journalists, Josina Anderson, appeared on SportsCenter on Tuesday with a report on how Sam was adjusting to life with his new teammates at the St Louis Rams, who picked him in May’s NFL Draft. MORE: US implodes over Michael Sam’s on-screen kiss Anderson quoted an anonymous Rams player, who said Sam appeared to be hanging back from showering with his teammates.
“(A) defensive player told me that, quote, ‘Sam is respecting our space,’ and that from his perspective, he seems to think that Michael Sam is waiting to kind of take a shower, as not to make his teammates uncomfortable,” she said. Anderson asked other players about Sam’s showering habits as well. Kendall Langford, who plays in the defensive tackle position, said Sam “seems to be taking a rookie approach of just listening and learning at his own pace”.
“He said that you can tell he’s just trying to feel his way through and perhaps see what guys he can relate to,” Anderson said.
“While Langford told me, ‘Listen, I have not been in the shower at the same time as Michael Sam,’ he said that there definitely could be a million reasons as to why that is. He said he could be doing extra work on the practise field, he could be riding his bike, he could be doing extra cardio.”
Earlier this year, Michael Sam accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the
Earlier this year, Michael Sam accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award onstage during the 2014 ESPYS.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher was furious with ESPN for airing the story.
“I think it’s unethical,” Fisher told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.”
Fisher also took offence at Anderson contacting Rams players while they were away from the team’s training facility.
“We have a media policy, and we’re very flexible,” Fisher said. “We have open practices. Players are available. We have open locker rooms.
“Obviously she came in, in all likelihood to see if there was going to be a roster move at the 75 cutdown as it relates to Mike Sam (the NFL teams are cutting players from their squads before the season starts).
“That didn’t happen. But she needed to do something, and it’s my understanding that she manufactured this story. She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time. Misled them with questions and then put this piece together.”
St Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.
St Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.
Initially, ESPN defended Anderson’s report, and claimed the players mentioned Sam’s showering habits on their own.
“In response to recent questions about Sam fitting in with the team, multiple Rams brought up the shower topic and we relayed that information as part of our reporting,” the network said. But when the backlash grew stronger, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz issued an apology.
“ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports,” Krulewitz said.
Michael Sam in action for the St Louis Rams.
Michael Sam in action for the St Louis Rams.
The network’s president, John Skipper, called the Rams to apologise personally on Wednesday. Fisher accepted that apology.
“We appreciate John Skipper reaching out to us and apologising, and their willingness to communicate and work through this with us,” Fisher said.
Shortly after Anderson’s story aired, the Rams reduced their squad to 75 players. Sam survived, but there’s another round of cuts this weekend, and 22 more players will leave the team. Hopefully, he won’t be one of them.
Michael Sam of the St Louis Rams.
Michael Sam of the St Louis Rams.
Sam revealed he was gay at a practise session with his college football side last year, prompting an outpouring of support from his teammates. But the NFL still has a long way to go before gay players feel welcome.
A recent profile of Sam, published by Out Magazine, showed the amount of pressure he’s been under throughout his young career. This is how the hulking, 6-foot-2 linebacker reacted when he realised the reporter, Christopher Glazek, was also gay:
“His face melted into a smile. He inched his chair closer to the table and loosened the furrow in his brow,” Glazek wrote.
“His eyes, which had glared with impermeability all through the shoot, suddenly started to radiate warmth and comradeship. Sam’s metamorphosis was so sudden and cartoonish, it suggested how much energy he was having to expend to protect his sexual orientation from people he feared would use it against him.”
Players like Michael Sam shouldn’t have to be afraid of their sexual orientation being “used against them”. It’s really that simple.
Originally published as ESPN slammed for outrageous story on gay player

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