Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa cannot safely return to Ethiopia because of his brave protest against his government's brutal oppression of the Oromo people. I have an Oromo friend who has been sending me firsthand reports of the government violence. It is sickening. If Lilesa wants to come to America, we should welcome him.
Nico Hines and the Daily Beast put gay Olympians from oppressive countries at risk, and took a full day before taking the exploitive article down. I agree with Cyd Ziegler and Amina Fonua.
Kris Jenkins wins the national title!!!! https://t.co/JTD82fS89c— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) April 5, 2016
Congrats to my alma mater, Villanova, for its victory last night in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Kris Jenkins made the winning 3-pointer a fraction of a second before the buzzer signaling the end of the game. As a friend who is a UNC alum said, the Wildcats played with a lot of heart.
Speaking of North Carolina, many people are celebrating UNC's loss because of the vile anti-LGBT law that was just passed by the state legislature in a special session and signed by Gov. McCrory. I am not inclined to take out my wrath on college kids.
Derrick Gordon of the Seton Hall Pirates is the first openly gay NCAA Division 1 basketball player. The Pirates won the Big East tournament on Saturday, and I confess I was cheering for them despite the fact that they were playing Villanova, my alma mater. Now they head into March Madness, as do the Wildcats. ThinkProgress reports.
Derrick has shone since coming out at UMass Amherst. His transfer to Seton Hall gave him a chance to play for a top team. The embrace of him by both schools' teams is a reminder that collegiate athletes are a lot more advanced in accepting gay players than the guys in the offices at professional sports teams. The new generation gets it. Their elders have some learning to do.
The latest entry in an annual ritual.
This is a delight. Odell Beckham Jr. ignores the haters.
My year-in-review column went online today at the Blade. My summary blurb is "Historic progress met the usual backlash." Here's an excerpt:
"Set the motherfucker on fire!" That recent call by a Donald Trump rally goer concerning a black protester, with another attendee yelling "Sieg heil," illustrates the viciousness fueling Trump's presidential campaign. If you take this lightly, Google "lynching." It is not just that what happened in Europe in the last century could happen here; what happened here could happen again. Trump's incitements, and those of his rivals, do not just pander to intolerance, they spray gasoline on the fire.
Hate-spewing demagogues were not the year's only newsmakers, but they produced its most dangerous legacy. The demons they unleashed cannot easily be tamed. But the haters cannot win the general election unless the rest of us allow it. Before we head back into battle, let us review some positive developments of 2015, though with cautionary notes.
The landmark victory for nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which President Obama celebrated by lighting the White House north front in rainbow colors, inspired opponents to switch tactics by pushing "religious freedom" laws (better dubbed "religious supremacy") to continue their anti-gay attacks. The Equality Act represented a new approach to LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, but stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Congress. Openly gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and several colleagues launched the smart, well-designed Campaign Zero policy website.
Forget about whether Odell Beckham, Jr. is gay. Sometimes a guy's gotta dance. This will make you smile. Below, more on the current obsession over whether Odell is gay.