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

August 31, 2019

Referee Halts Game Over Anti Gay Banners in France

French referee Clement Turpin halted the match between Nice and Marseille because of anti-gay banners in the stands. Getty Images

  • ESPN, Reuters

The coaches of Nice and Marseille and France's equality minister have all praised the referee who interrupted the Ligue 1 match on Wednesday because of anti-gay banners in the home crowd.

France's equality minister Marlene Schiappa said the banners had sullied the stands while Nice coach Patrick Vieira said referee Clement Turpin had been left with "no choice." 

The play was stopped in the first half for around 10 minutes and players left the field over the banners displayed by Nice fans.

French media also reported anti-gay chanting during the match which Marseille won 2-1. 
"The referee was right to stop the match," Vieira, the former Arsenal, and France midfielder said.

"These things are unacceptable. The message was clear, and the referee didn't have a choice.

He could have maybe given us a bit more time to go and see the supporters and to ask them to remove the banner. But he explained things to me that I fully understand.

"I hope that this won't happen again, in Nice or in any stadium."

Vieira's opposite number Andre Villas-Boas agreed the referee made the "right decision."

Schiappa said in a Tweet that Nice fans had ignored "several requests" to withdraw the banners.

"Football is a passion, not hate," she said.

The French league has promised to crack down on anti-gay chanting this season which has already seen a second-tier match between Nancy and Le Mans interrupted.

June 22, 2018

Gay LineBacker Almost Quits Because of Homophobia But Ultimately Finds Acceptance

 Donovan Hillary, a 22-year-old football player with the Winnipeg Rifles, described how he regained his passion for football and, more recently, the comfort to be an out gay athlete in a moving story he published on Outsports, a gay sports website. (Gary Solilak/CBC
Donovan Hillary is proving he can co-exist as a football player and a gay man. 
Image result for donovan hillary
The 22-year-old middle linebacker — a defensive menace with the Winnipeg Rifles junior football team who led his league in tackles last season — felt he had to be honest with himself and his teammates after dealing with depression and contemplating suicide as a closeted athlete. 
He went public this week in a moving monologue published on Outsports, a popular website where gay athletes worldwide share their coming out stories.
It's how most of Hillary's teammates found out the six-foot-two, 225-pound lineman is gay.
"I felt it was important to go through this year and bring those [dualities] together and really just be my true self on the playing field," he said. "Hopefully it inspires others who may be in a similar situation."

Hillary is just one of the guys after coming out to his entire football team. He says he feels the Rifles are supporting him. (Gary Solilak/CBC)
His journey to live authentically as an out athlete has been difficult.
The 2014 River East Collegiate graduate nearly gave up on the game he loved during his two years playing university football at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.
He struggled to bond with the guys, who went beyond tossing the occasional homophobic slur. He wrote in his story that players changed their preferences on the dating app Tinder to find gay students so they could out them.
Those instances, though not directed at him, made Hillary feel less than. That he was less of a teammate, less of an athlete and less of a man because of his sexuality. He decided to keep his secret to himself.
"What I wanted to be a supportive environment actually ended up being hostile towards what I was going through."
His experience isn't unique. A 2015 international study found that 81 per cent of the Canadians surveyed witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports, while 84 per cent of gay men and 88 per cent of lesbians polled faced derogatory slurs in a sporting environment.
Only seven known gay athletes have ever played an NFL regular-season game, according to Outsports. None has come out while active, says Outsports, noting that four other players who came out as gay were in NFL training camps and played in preseason games.

Football became a chore

Hillary found that his sport, once his distraction from the outside world, became a constant reminder of the struggles he internalized.
He felt isolated from his support network and it took a toll on his mental and physical well-being.
At his lowest point, he lay in his dorm room with a handful of pills. He wanted out.
But he found the courage to download a gay dating app and befriend a person who became his confidant. He was the one person who truly knew who he was, Hillary wrote in his Outsports piece. 
That summer, Hillary returned to Winnipeg and was honest with his parents and closest friends about his sexuality. They embraced him.
After another year at Queen's, he returned in 2016 to Winnipeg, where he felt most at home.
He didn't give up on football. He signed on with the Rifles, of the Canadian Junior Football League.
"I initially went to Queen's because I thought I was going to be able to open up and be myself," Hillary said. "It's funny because almost the opposite happened, I was able to come home and open up." 
Despite the welcome, his life remained one of split personalities. His sport and his sexuality did not mix.

A relief to tell the Rifles

But he became comfortable with this group of guys and the supportive environment the Rifles fostered. 
A few months ago he told his first teammate.
"It was such a weight off just to tell the first-ever athlete that I was gay," said Hillary, who is studying science at the University of Manitoba. "He really embraced that and really made me feel like I was welcome on the team and it wouldn't be an issue."
If this proves to be Hillary's final season as a competitive football player, he wanted it to be as an out and proud athlete.
He said he's been overwhelmed by kind words from his coaching staff, teammates and complete strangers after sharing his story.
One of his friends, Jessie Posthumus, understands better than most how football personifies the macho athlete stereotype that doesn't traditionally align with homosexuality. 
He's going to want to prove that he's an even better player because of this.- Jessie  Posthumus , friend
Posthumus, 19, came out to his Kildonan East high school football team in his Grade 12 year.
He expects Hillary to be even more dominant on the field this season. The CJFL campaign begins in August.
"He's going to want to prove that he's an even better player because of this, that [being gay] does nothing to affect who he is and how he plays," Posthumus said.
"Leading the league in tackles last year, he's only going up from there."

Highlights from Hillary's 2017 season with the Rifles

Hillary hopes his story will encourage others who are struggling to live openly.
"There's still a lot of people out there who feel like they have to choose between playing their sport and being who they are," he said. "I really hope that through my experience … it will give someone else the strength."


Ian Froese
Ian Froese is a reporter at CBC Manitoba. He previously wrote about rural Manitoba for the Brandon Sun and the Carillon in Steinbach. Story idea? Email

May 23, 2018

Rugby Star Israel Folau Saved His Soul (?) by Stepping on Gays but Lost His $850k Rover and His Reputation

Image result for  israel folau land rover
 Israel was Appointed Ambassador for Australia in Sports when that car was given but there were strings attached and putting down anyone people went against an Ambassador representing a nation in sports and a high-end car company. How about a Kia?

Land Rover has taken back their sponsored car from controversial Aussie rugby star Israel Folau.
The flash car was part of an $850,000 deal Land Rover had with Rugby Australia, reports the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Land Rover, who said Folau was never an official ambassador, repossessed the car after Folau's anti-gay sentiments on social media.
In February last year, Dan Carter was dropped as a brand ambassador for Land Rover following his drink-driving incident in France.
Folau won't be catching the bus to Waratahs training any time soon though — he still gets around in style in his $500,000 Lamborghini, bought last year.
Land Rover's withdrawal of the car is the first financial hit Folau has taken for his fundamental Christian stance.
The 29-year-old Wallabies and Waratahs fullback followed up his initial comment with a video on Twitter warning that tolerance of homosexuality would be punished by God, but Rugby Australia has not sanctioned him due to the complex moral issues around free speech.
While RA disagrees with Folau, chief executive Raelene Castle said they also must respect his right to express his religious beliefs, adding that penalizing him would alienate a large section of their Christian supporter base.
Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says Folau would refrain from posting further inflammatory content for the sake of his teammates as they prepare for the three-test June series against Ireland.
"What's happened has happened, it's been dealt with now and it's not going to be ongoing, so it's not going to be an issue," Cheika told Macquarie Sports Radio.
"There's been a lot of conjecture on this on this from all different sides, left wing, right wing and all that type of stuff. But we need to be focusing on the footy, and getting ourselves clear on a big series against the northern hemisphere champions.
"I'm going to be reminding guys what the team is about, what it means to be part of the team and then guys make their decisions from there.
"He understands that he doesn't want to affect the team around those sort of things. And like I said, if it's not ongoing then it's not going to be an issue."
"Izzy wants to be part of the team, not just now but in the future as well. Some people think he's using it as some kind of tactic to get out of playing but if he wanted to go, he could go easily. He wants to play rugby."

New Zealand Herald


More Words from "IZZY" (AFL)
Sydney — Australian rugby star Israel Folau has once again courted controversy by posting a social media link to a video opposing same-sex marriage and referring to "sexual perversions beyond description".
The devout Christian, one of Australia’s most marketable players, caused a storm in April when he said gay people were destined for hell.
He escaped sanction by sports chiefs, despite Rugby Australia having an inclusion policy to stop discrimination, and a backlash from several high-profile players.
A defiant Folau, 29, last week said he had no regrets and would not back away from his staunch beliefs about homosexuality. In the video posted on his Twitter feed on Tuesday, the late American evangelist David Wilkerson warns against "tolerance" of same-sex marriage in an 11-minute sermon.
"We’re living in a time of unprecedented greed, rampant inequality, sexual perversions beyond description," he said.
It also showed people with rainbow flags, rats caught in traps and clocks ticking.
"With great love, I wanted to share this video in the hope that people watch it and think about it," Folau said.
"Jesus is coming back soon … please don’t harden your heart."
He took to Twitter again after a fellow Christian said he should have "love and grace" for everyone, regardless of their sexuality.
🦊 The bible says you can't serve two masters. If you want to dedicate your time to preach the coming of Jesus and decide who will or will not go Maybe having worldly possession as a car that only 1% of the population can afford is against the bible teachings, some will say... Being a pro in any sport takes all of your time and the last thing sport people want to listen to are sermons for that. They want sports! For preaching there are churches. But I have been a witness how these kids are brainwashed since they are able to recognized their parents they recognize the pastor. It is hammered into them that time is short and you need to go and preach. However, preachers are needed in every religion. He could switch professions since he liked telling who are the children of God and which are not.  Conversion means that you are changed and submerged into something else. Just be careful where are you submerged, get an education so you know the miracles of nature that no one can explain but at least you get to see them. That alone will keep you from judging. Even the Pope won't judge a gay person, why should you IZZY?

November 2, 2017

8 Far Right Demonstrators Arrested for Demanding Gay Supporting Soccer Player Be Kicked Off Team

Republic of Ireland's Shane Long, left, struggles for the ball with Georgia's Guram Kashia during their World Cup Group D qualifying soccer match at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi, Georgia. The nationalist Georgian March group wants defender Guram Kashia punished for wearing a rainbow armband while captaining Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in early Oct. 2017.Shakh Aivazov / AP

Eight people were arrested in Georgia during a far-right protest to demand a soccer player be kicked off the national team because he supported gay rights.

The nationalist Georgian March group wanted defender Guram Kashia punished for wearing a rainbow armband while captaining Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem earlier this month, as part of a broader initiative in the Netherlands for the country's "Coming Out Day."

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Georgian Football Federation headquarters late Tuesday, shouting anti-gay slogans while letting off flares and smoke bombs. They also burned a rainbow flag.

Police said eight people were detained for resisting police and minor hooliganism, and they were due to appear in court Wednesday. 

It was not clear how many of those arrested were members of Georgian March, an anti-immigrant and anti-gay rights group which claims to be protecting the "purity" of society in the Caucasus nation. Its members also called for the football federation's entire leadership to resign because the federation had supported Kashia.

Kashia has previously told Dutch TV channel NOS he's proud to support equal rights and he has no intention to stop playing for Georgia.

Many Georgian Internet users changed their profile pictures on social networks in support of Kashia, who has also received backing from Georgia's president.

"Everyone has the right for freedom of expression," Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in a statement on Facebook on Monday. "We should respect human rights and liberties. I stand with the unanimous support that sporting society has expressed toward Guram Kashia."

NBC News

July 8, 2017

The NY Yankees Refuses to Host Gay Pride Events Like Other Clubs Do

On a recent Saturday night at Citi Field, the Mets rolled out the red (and orange, yellow, green, blue and violet) carpet for the gay community. The Coca-Cola sign in the outfield was lit up in rainbow colors. The Kiss Cam was filled with same-sex couples smooching. The color guard carried a rainbow flag. And gay officers from the New York and Nassau County Police Departments were honored, as was a gay war veteran.
The Mets are hardly alone in offering such welcoming gestures. The N.B.A. had its own float, with Commissioner Adam Silver aboard, in the Pride March in Manhattan last month. That same day, the Cubs’ World Series trophy — draped in a rainbow flag — rode on a float in Chicago’s parade. And many sports teams, including a large majority in baseball, have hosted gay-themed events.
But one team that has not done so is the Yankees, even though their city helped give birth to the modern gay rights movement.
That most teams have chosen to stage a pride day or night at their ballparks is not surprising, because thematic promotions to draw fans have long been part of baseball’s culture. Those events have ranged from the infamous Disco Demolition Night once staged by the Chicago White Sox to the Mets’ Jewish and Irish heritage nights. The San Francisco Giants will host an African-American heritage night in September. The Yankees have in recent years largely shied away from promotions with an ethnic or cultural flavor, although there are regular instances when they honor a cause with a brief pregame ceremony, such as last year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Kevin Cash, the Tampa Bay Rays manager, wore a T-shirt honoring the victims of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., at a game in June 2016. CreditBrian Blanco/Getty Images 

And while the Yankees have chosen to refrain from holding a gay pride event at Yankee Stadium, a team spokesman, Jason Zillo, said there had been involvement behind the scenes.
Among the examples he cited: the work by General Manager Brian Cashman and the assistant general manager Jean Afterman with organizations that assist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths; a pregame ceremony last year to acknowledge those killed in a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.; and an invitation to Billy Bean, the gay Major League Baseball executive who promotes inclusion, to speak with Yankees players on the major and minor league levels.
“Everyone of every nationality, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation and/or preference is welcome at Yankee Stadium every day,” Zillo said in a statement. “We are a long-term believer in diversity and inclusion, and have always looked to create a safe and supportive environment for all fans to enjoy their experience here.”
Years ago, the doors of the old Yankee Stadium were opened for the closing ceremony of the 1994 Gay Games, and 40,000 people showed up. Nevertheless, in an era when Major League Baseball has taken steps to promote inclusiveness, most notably with the hiring of Bean in 2014, the Yankees have shown no inclination to hold a night for L.G.B.T. fans.


The Cubs are believed to be the first team to have had such an event, in 2001, and by the end of this season, only three teams besides the Yankees — the Los Angeles Angels, the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers — will apparently not have had one, according to the website and news reports.
(In addition to the Yankees, the Angels confirmed that they had not had a pride event. The Brewers and the Reds did not respond to requests for comment.)
“If big-market teams like the Dodgers, Cubs and Nationals can do it, it begs the question: Why aren’t the Yankees doing it?” said Bill Gubrud, who helped organize the initial event at Wrigley Field.
The Yankees, not unlike their uniforms, which look essentially the same on Aaron Judge as they did on Joe DiMaggio, are often not quick to change. They have been steadfast in their decades-old grooming policy, which keeps players from having long hair or beards. And while the Mets and other teams have extended netting down the foul lines this season in an effort to further protect fans from foul balls and shattered bats, the Yankees have not taken that step.
Most pride days, or nights, are not generated by a major league team itself, but by an outside organization. Gubrud was selling ads for a gay newspaper in Chicago when he called the Cubs years ago about buying an ad. When they agreed, he asked how many tickets would have to be sold to have a gay-themed event at Wrigley Field. He was told 2,000.
“I’ll take them all,” Gubrud said.
The Philadelphia Phillies began hosting their pride night soon after, when Larry Felzer, a lawyer, organized what would become an annual event. The Phillies took it over last year, but the event’s infrastructure had been established by Felzer. The Dodgers’ pride night, begun four years ago, has become so popular that promoters are bidding to host it.
David Kilmnick, the chief executive of the L.G.B.T. Network, was the person who spurred the Mets to resume their pride night last season (the team had one more than a decade earlier), and he also approached the Yankees. He met with Yankees representatives at a diversity meeting sponsored by Major League Baseball during spring training in 2016 and pitched them for 15 minutes on the idea of a pride event as well as workplace-sensitivity training.
It was the last he heard from the team, he said. “I haven’t received any interest,” he added.
Though Bean has worked closely with the Yankees in other areas of inclusiveness, the team has not spoken with him about a pride event.
“If the Yankees approached me, I’d be front and center in getting it done or putting it out there,” Bean said. “This is a process. I don’t want teams to feel like they’re pressured. It has to be organic.”
Bean, who spoke at the Yankees’ major league and minor league camps in spring training, said that the team had been supportive and that the conversation about pride events was relatively new.


                             The Boston Red Sox celebrated a pride night at Fenway Park last night.          

“The idea of a team not hosting a pride night is not a complete assessment of its stance on inclusion, especially where baseball’s responsibility lies,” he said.
Still, Bean cited the importance of having such events, especially in a place like New York. Too many L.G.B.T. baseball fans, he said, have memories of being ostracized in Little League or hearing disparaging comments while sitting in the stands at a major league game.
When teams host pride events, Bean said: “It’s part of us getting better and understanding the value of being inclusive. There’s a massive significance to that message.”
To some, like Kilmnick, pride nights are an opportunity to further a conversation and to extend engagement with teams beyond a night at the ballpark. He noted that there had still not been an openly gay major leaguer. (David Denson, a low-level minor league player for the Milwaukee Brewers, came out as gay two years ago; he has since retired.)
“Pride night was more than about ticket sales and it’s more than just another theme night or promotion night,” Kilmnick said. “It was about having a place at the ballpark for the L.G.B.T. community to come down and feel safe, and believe — especially for the younger people — that they could be a major leaguer and not hide.”
Kilmnick said his organization, which does antibullying work with Long Island and New York City schools, had plans to do a pride night with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in September.
He was surprised to learn that the Yankees had never had such an event, but then the lifelong Mets fan in him emerged.
“The Mets have been the underdog and the Yankees have been the elite,’’ he said. “In that way it doesn’t surprise me. You’d think the Mets would come out for those underdogs in society, but I think it’s time the Yankees stand up and do something for the L.G.B.T. fans and the Bronx.”

The New York Times

June 6, 2017

John McEnroe Tells Margaret Court Nobody Gives a F* About Ur Homophobic Opinion

 Tennis all time star figure John McEnroe. He has a distaste for homophobia in  his sport.

Tennis legend and now full-time homophobe Margaret Court said last week that “tennis is full of lesbians.” Another tennis legend, John McEnroe, fired back:

“Margaret Court is telling us, ‘Tennis is full of lesbians,’” McEnroe said in a video. “The way I see it, there are three options regarding this statement. Number one ― this is true, and who gives a fuck? Number two ― this is not true, and who should give a fuck? And number three ― this is half-true, and should we really give a fuck?”

Court is against same-sex marriage, same-sex parents and has equated LGBT people with Hitler and the devil. Some players want the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne where the Australian Open is played renamed, but McEnroe is not ready to go that far. He has his own idea:

“When same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia, I will personally call my good friend Elton John to host the biggest same-sex mass wedding ceremony ever seen — in Margaret Court Arena. Margaret, that’s just the kind of guy I am.”

April 22, 2017

Denmark Takes a Lead in Fighting Homophobia in Football

Danish football clubs, players and the authorities are to launch a series of initiatives aimed at combating homophobia in the game, they said in a joint statement on Friday.

 The Danish Football Association (DBU), the Players Association and the Danish League are teaming up for a nationwide campaign to fight against anti-gay chanting and to improve behaviour in the dressing-room, on the pitch and on the terraces. “Tolerance has always been a core value in football – as we have seen in the campaigns against racism. 

We are very pleased that we together can campaign against homophobia,” Danish League CEO Claus Thomsen said. Openly gay male players in Europe’s top divisions are very rare, with former Aston Villa and VfB Stuttgart midfielder Thomas Hitzelsperger one of just a handful a players to come out in public. “I do not understand how we can have a stadium of 25,000 people screaming homophobic or sexist slurs, and everyone just shakes their head,” FC Copenhagen defender Mathias Joergensen told Reuters. 

As well as Danish clubs taking part in Pride parades in Copenhagen and Aarhus this weekend, captains of top-flight sides will wear rainbow-coloured armbands and rainbow flags will be carried as the teams walk out onto the field. There will also be a major event around Denmark’s friendly against Germany on June 6, although no details have yet been announced.

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – 

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor in Stockholm, editing by Neil Robinson)

August 22, 2016

Andre Gray “Is it Me or are There Gays Everywhere?” So Sorry Now!

(Andre Gray in pic) It might be ok to be a homophobe when nobody knows you,
 is different  when you have fans that pay money to see you play
The Burnley striker Andre Gray has apologized after homophobic tweets in which he appeared to condone killing gay people were shared on social media.

One of the messages, written in 2012 when Gray played for non-league Hinckley United, read:  . That tweet, and others containing similar terms, were deleted on Saturday, soon after they started re-circulating online.

Tweet from Gray on
“Is it me or are there gays everywhere?
jan 9 2012 1:31am

Responding to the backlash online, the 25-year-old – who scored Burnley’s second goal against Liverpool – issued a statement, writing: “First I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets. The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now.
“I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from … I have experienced a lot over the past four years and have had to take responsibility for a number of things in my life which has enabled me to mature and grow as a person.”

He added: “I realise I have made some big mistakes, none more so than these tweets, but I would like to stress that I’ve worked incredibly hard to completely transform my life since that time. To clarify, I do not hold the beliefs written in those tweets whatsoever.

“I can assure everybody that I am absolutely not homophobic, and as said previously I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended. Thankfully I am not the guy I was back then and will continue to work hard both on and off the pitch to become a better person.”

Responding to the original messages, the campaign group Stonewall told the BBC: “While these tweets are of course historic, unfortunately homophobic attitudes and language continue to be an issue in sport, whether that’s on the pitch, in the terraces or on social media.

“It’s extremely important that we work together to kick these attitudes out of sport and create supportive and inclusive environments that enable everyone to feel accepted without exception.”

The Rangers midfielder Joey Barton, however, backed Gray against the criticism, tweeting: “I know @AndreGray7 as well as anyone. And he is 100% not homophobic. One of the nicest lads you could meet. Who hasn’t said dumb things when they were young? … He should be held up as an example to kids from troubled backgrounds.”
Burnley later issued a statement along similar lines, saying: “The club would like to make it clear we do not condone any discriminatory behavior by any employee. The club also fully supports the FA’s Football v Homophobia campaign.

“However, as Andre has made clear in a statement on his personal account, these are social posts from four years ago, and in this time he has completely transformed his life. The player has also apologised and denied he is, in any way, shape or form homophobic. Burnley Football Club will make no further statement on this matter.”

In June the Coventry City defender Chris Stokes was given a one-game ban and fined by the Football Association for tweeting a homophobic term. Stokes also posted an apology online, calling his decision to send the message “a brainless moment from me … I’m really disappointed in myself for using that term. I’m not homophobic at all.” 

August 11, 2016

NBC and It’s Problem with Gay Athletes

Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow compete in the Olympic men's synchronised 10-meter platform event, Aug. 8, 2016

Many of us have been aware of a problem with NBC and gays, particularly in sports. names particular problems with gays in sports and how NBC deals with their sexual orientation. Its like if NBC was either embarrassed for them or just embarrass to have to deal with these famous athletes just because of who they are which should be none of anyone business but they do have lives and spouses, boyfriends and sometimes even children. Why not just treat them as professionals NBC and forget about the bedroom stuff?

The post below was posted by   on Out Sports

It's been apparent for years.

When Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won gold in the 10-meter platform in Beijing, stopping a Chinese sweep of diving gold on the final dive of the sport's final event, NBC Sports, the perennial broadcaster in the United States of the Olympic Games, failed to mention Mitcham's partner in the stands despite highlighting the partners of other straight athletes. Even worse, the network failed to mention that Mitcham was the only publicly out gay-male athlete at the Games.

When called on it, NBC first argued that the network doesn't discuss sexual orientation (despite the historic nature of Mitcham's win) then offered a terse two-sentence "apology."

Eight years later, nothing has changed at NBC. The network failed to identify Dustin Lance Black in the audience of the men's synchro diving finals as bronze-medalist Tom Daley's fiancé. Not boyfriend, not long-time friend... fiancé. And an Oscar-winning fiancé at that (read: public interest). They are, arguably, the "it" couple of the gay community, yet NBC didn't mention a word.
When NBC broadcast the match of Brazilian volleyball player Larissa França, they followed her to the stands where she embraced her wife. NBC commentator Chris Marlowe's color commentary?

"That is her husband. She married Lili in 2013 and Larissa is celebrating with her pals."

Her husband. You can't write this shit. Yet NBC released no public apology, relying on a one-line statement from Marlowe.

At the U.S. Olympic diving trials, diver Jordan Windle was accompanied by his two dads.

"They wouldn't say 'Jordan's dads' during the finals of Olympic Trials," Jerry Windle said. "They just said 'parents.' Then they wouldn't show both Andre and I together like they showed other parents."

Two years ago in Sochi, all of the NBC networks combined offered less than two hours of coverage of LGBT issues, including the new anti-gay law that had been implemented in Russia, during the 18 days of the Winter Olympics. There were mentions of the plight of Russian LGBT people during primetime coverage by NBC Sports, but according to HRC it diminished over time and was mostly pushed away from NBC Sports and onto MSNBC. According to HRC, during two of the Winter Olympic days -- 14 and 17 -- there was no coverage of the issue on any of NBC's networks.

To be clear, this all goes well beyond the Olympics.

For the last few years NBC Sports has employed an avowed proud homophobe, Tony Dungy, as one of its lead NFL commentators. Dungy has raised money to oppose equality for gay people, has said he "disagrees" with Jason Collins being gay and, in a fit of hypocrisy, said he would not want openly gay NFL player Michael Sam on his team.

Of course the network also employs openly gay commentator Johnny Weir. It's the one possible on-air feather in the network's cap. Though Weir's dress and manner leave some reducing him to the role of clown, it's a role he welcomes and plays well while also offering some great figure skating commentary. His antics (while I appreciate them) leave many gay people wishing for less.

Still, it's impossible to make the case that NBC Sports is sensitive to LGBT issues. While NBC has started NBC Out and has a robust NBC-Universal LGBT employee network, that is desperately lost on the coverage NBC provides sports.

While Dungy's continued employment on NBC Sports' cornerstone program is a slap in the face of the entire LGBT community, the subpar job the network has demonstrated covering LGBT athletes and issues at the Olympics over the years is downright inexcusable.

There are plenty of opportunities for NBC to recover. Ten days of LGBTI athletes competing and winning lie ahead. Will the network acknowledge their presence? Simply demonstrate the common courtesy to these athletes they show their straight counterparts?

Frankly, I doubt it. Their failure to properly address the Mitcham snub eight years ago, followed by transgression after transgression, shows very clearly that NBC Sports couldn't care less about gay athletes or gay fans. Maybe ESPN can get in the running to broadcast future Olympics.

May 27, 2016

‘Human Error’Determined in The Padres Gay Men’s Chorus incident

Last Saturday, as part of the "Out at the Ballpark" festivities at Petco Park, the Padres invited the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus to sing the National Anthem prior to a game against the Dodgers. The choir accepted the offer, but, just as they were about to begin performing, a recording of a woman singing the anthem played instead.
Here's video of the incident:
The choir was not given the opportunity to perform and some members claim they were heckled as they left the field.
The Padres issued a brief apology, which the chorus found to be inadequate. The team later determined nothing malicious had happened, though they terminated the employee responsible for the anthem mishap. The chorus asked the team to rehire that employee, however.
MLB invested the incident, and, on Thursday, they announced it was the result of "human error." Here is the league's statement:
Major League Baseball announced today that it has completed its investigation into the unfortunate events of Saturday, May 21st, when members of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus had been scheduled to perform the Star-Spangled Banner before the Padres' "Pride Night" home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. The review, which was conducted by MLB's Department of Investigations, included a dozen interviews with individuals who were involved in the situation.
The Department of Investigations has concluded that the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus has performed the Star-Spangled Banner multiple times before a Padres game; that Saturday's regrettable situation was a product of human error; that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that the lead entertainment supervisor was involved in a car accident on Friday night and thus was unable to work on Saturday and handle his typical responsibilities; that employees involved in the matter were handling new duties with which they were insufficiently familiar; and that the employees involved had no malicious intentions and, in fact, universally relayed contrition for how the incident unfolded and the adverse impression that it created.
MLB received the full cooperation of Padres management, which expressed its deepest apologies. MLB believes that the Padres' efforts to remedy the situation, including its invitation to the Chorus to return to a future game to perform the National Anthem, are appropriate and has every expectation that the Club's longstanding record of inclusion will be evident in the future.
As unfortunate as this situation is, it's good to hear there was no malicious intent. It was a mistake, plain and simple. Hopefully the Padres and the Chorus can move forward with their relationship.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... FULL BIO

March 19, 2016

Pacquiao ReBanned:”We don’t Welcome Gay Haters”

Manny Pacquiao has been banned from the popular L.A. shopping center The Grove -- again -- all because of his "statements of hatred" against gay people ... TMZ Sports has learned. 
The battle between The Grove and Pacquiao started in 2012 ... when Manny was banned over an interview in which he reportedly quoted a Bible verse that called for the death penalty for gays. 
The Grove later reversed the ban when it learned Manny had been misquoted. 
Fast forward to this week ... when Manny and his 16 person entourage hit the center for a movie in the wake of his newest round of anti-gay statements, which include saying gays are "worse than animals" and posting the "gays should die" Bible verse on his Instagram. 
Grove honchos saw Manny on the property … and after he left, decided they don't want him to come back. 

"These are statements of hatred," Grove owner Rick Caruso tells us ... "A lot of people from the gay community come to The Grove and they have a right not to feel uncomfortable."
"Manny Pacquiao is no longer welcome."
     The hammer continues to fall on Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao following his anti-gay rant last month as he has been banned from the popular L.A. shopping spot, The Grove– again, TMZ Sports reports.
The feud between The Grove and Pacquiao dates back to 2012 when Pacman was banned over an interview in which he reportedly quoted a Bible verse that called for the death penalty for gay people. The ban was later rescinded when Manny claimed he’d been misquoted by the media.
However, things took a different turn this week when Manny and his 16-man entourage hit the center for a movie with the dust yet o settle over his latest anti-gay outburst, in which he claimed on a Philippine TV show that gays are “worse than animals” and later posting a Bible verse on his Instagram account that “gays should die”.
Pacquiao and wife in an Instagram post slamming gays
Pacquiao and wife in an Instagram post slamming gays
The owners of Grove were displeased to see Manny on the property, and after he left they made it clear he wasn’t welcome again.
“These are statements of hatred,” Grove owner Rick Caruso said. “A lot of people from the gay community come to The Grove and they have a right not to feel uncomfortable.”
“Manny Pacquiao is no longer welcome.”
Manny is also feeling the heat back home in Philippines as his popularity continues to head south with suggestions he may pull out of the Senate race.
Credit: TMZ

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