267 posts categorized "Sports"

September 26, 2014

Storybook ending

Derek Jeter wins the game with a walk-off single in his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium. As he hugged his teammates, several past greats waited to greet him: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and former manager Joe Torre. Below, Derek walks off the field for the last time. (Meanwhile, the New York Giants beat the Washington Football team.)

September 25, 2014

Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still's daughter has tumor removed

NFL Player Devon Still gives his daughter a pep talk before her cancer surgery. Watching this did my heart a lot of good. (Follow link for video.)

Update: "After a 5hr 50min surgery the surgeon was able to remove ALL of her tumor and all of her lymph nodes and her right adrenal gland where it all started from."

September 24, 2014

While we're on baseball

From September 16, the Washington Nationals clinching the 2014 NL East division title. Go Nats!

Made in New York

Gatorade and Derek Jeter make a classic.

September 11, 2014

Dispute Over Decency


My column this week looks at indecency. Here is an excerpt:

It is amazing what indecent things some people say and do in the name of decency.

If your Christian parents throw you out of the house for being gay, and they cite Scripture, it is probably St. Paul, specifically 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Regarding the reference to homosexuality, Bible Gateway explains, "The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts." But let's not quibble over translations, nor scour the Bible Concordance for the precise connection between God's kingdom and kicking out children. The point is that some people really believe this crap, and it's causing harm, and it's time we stopped being shy about it.

After organizers of New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade decided to allow an NBC-affiliated LGBT group to march, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue envisioned gay marchers masturbating in the street. Father Charles Pope, blogging for the Archdiocese of Washington, called the parade an "anal sex" celebration. These gentlemen are quieter about the papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic fleeing to Rome to avoid justice for abusing shoeshine boys.

Read the whole thing at Metro Weekly.

September 03, 2014

Michael Sam is signed to Dallas Cowboys practice squad

Sean Gregory at Time reports.

Below, AP reports.

September 01, 2014

Fischer goes for a cut, misses

AFA's Bryan Fischer rather desperately misrepresents the Rams' football-based decision to cut Michael Sam in order to make an unrelated point. Meanwhile, Breitbart in its report completely ignores Sam's strong performance in pre-season games, going back instead several months to before he was drafted.

Lucas Grindley reports at Advocate.com on Sam's situation. As Cyd Zeigler at Outsports says, the Rams' decision was based on the fact that it already has a strong defensive line. The fact that Sam was overlooked by every other NFL team, including teams like the Bengals and Patriots that needed pass rushers like him, suggest that something other than his merits was at play. Shame on the NFL.

August 30, 2014

Michael Sam cut by St. Louis Rams

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat)

Outsports reports. Any other NFL team can pick him up in the next 24 hours. Very disappointing, but it's not over yet. Sam tweeted:

I responded:

August 29, 2014

Daily Show mocks ESPN focus on Michael Sam's showering habits

Samantha Bee normally annoys me, but this is funny. Michael Sam outclasses the people who persist in trying to marginalize him with their locker room fantasies. Rooting for you, Mike.

As for Mike's performance as a football player and his chances of making the final roster cut Saturday, more coverage here and here.


August 27, 2014

Michael Sam survives first round of roster cuts

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat)

Outsports reports that Rams defensive end Michael Sam survived the first round of roster cuts on Tuesday. He will get a chance to make a further case for himself in the fourth pre-season game on August 28. This week we've been watching Sam's sack against Johnny Manziel from last Saturday. Below is his sack that clinched the win for Mizzou eight months ago in the Cotton Bowl.

August 26, 2014

Rams teammate disses ESPN for shower obsession over Michael Sam

Michael Sam's Rams teammate Chris Long offered the above succinct comment to ESPN for its ridiculous dwelling on Sam's showering habits.

Story at Yahoo Sports.

August 24, 2014

Sacking Johnny Football

Michael Sam enhanced his chances of making the Rams roster with two sacks against Johnny Manziel. This guy plays his heart out, and he has a feel for the theater of it.

July 27, 2014

Michael Sam gets under the far right's skin

(Photo by Richard Phibbs for Out magazine)

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:

Religious Right activists often attempt to defend anti-gay remarks by insisting that the remarks are merely expressions of religious faith. And that is exactly how they are handling the controversy over former NFL coach Tony Dungy’s comment that he wouldn’t draft Michael Sam because he wouldn’t want “to deal with” attention over his sexual orientation.

Take, for example, WorldNetDaily columnist Carl Jackson, who today not only suggests that Dungy should be immune from criticism because he is a Christian, but insists that anyone who dared to disagree with his remarks has actually “persecuted” and “crucified” him “because he had the courage to say what everyone else thought about the rookie pick.”

And Miranda Blue, also at RWW, reports that AFA President Tim Wildmon used a fundraising letter to get all steamy over the beefcake in NFL locker rooms:

By the way, having been a sports reporter for a few years I've been in many football locker rooms where the players walk around naked or half-naked, changing clothes and going in and out of the showers. Putting a man like Sam, who says he is sexually attracted to men, in with all that beefcake seems unfair to the straight players and a distraction to Sam.

Speaking of showers, Tim, you sound like you could use a cold one. We completely understand.

July 17, 2014

Michael Sam Wins Arthur Ashe ESPY Award 2014

The ESPY Awards (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards) were handed out last night, and Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. He received the award from Duane "The Rock" Johnson, the wrestler and actor known for "The Scorpion King" and other movies. Below, for no good reason, is a scene from the 2008 Get Smart movie featuring Johnson.

July 09, 2014

Here's looking at you


Out magazine's cover story on openly gay NFL player Michael Sam includes this patriotic shot that will have lots of people saluting.

May 30, 2014

Salmon cakes and succotash

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman joins with Michelle Obama and a few of his teammates to make a video as part of her Let's Move! campaign to promote healthy cooking, and spoofs himself in the process.

May 26, 2014

Redskins reply to U.S. Senators

ESPN reports:

The Washington Redskins continue to fight back regarding their nickname, with general manager Bruce Allen sending a letter to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid explaining why the name is not about to change in response to a letter Reid and 49 other senators sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week urging him to force a change of the nickname.

Those who insist that the name of the Washington football team is not a slur but a gesture of respect are like guys who yell at a passing woman, "Great knockers!" and think it's a compliment. Only from a perspective of blind privilege could that make sense.

May 25, 2014

The B-baller of Amherst

On the occasion of Black Pride weekend in DC, there are many heroes and sheroes to celebrate. Here is one, Derrick Gordon of UMass, who carried a lot of people with him when he stepped out.

May 21, 2014

In your face, with cake


My latest column in Metro Weekly looks at NFL draftee Michael Sam and The Kiss that made a thousand whackjobs moist. An excerpt:

Among the predictable reactions to The Kiss between Michael Sam and boyfriend Vito Cammisano, which was shown by ESPN during the closing minutes of the NFL draft on May 10, was the complaint about “gays shoving their sexuality down our throats.”

As long as we’re on the subject, I am tired of having my face smeared with the unresolved personal issues of people who use rape imagery to decry gay visibility. I might add that the veiled eroticism of smashing cake in his lover’s face hardly competes with that of jocks spraying champagne on one another.

Most people see through the homophobes’ feigned Victorian delicacy. Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen mocked, “[W]hen Sam was seen celebrating with his family and boyfriend, the world apparently shook, we almost collided with the sun, and yet somehow we have survived another day.” Hansen dismissed locker room fears by griping that his gay coworkers never hit on him.

Click on the link for the whole thing.

May 17, 2014

Sandy Rios Fears Michael Sam And Public Schools Will 'Brainwash' Kids

RWW reports on the latest in the right wing's Michael Sam Derangement Syndrome.

May 15, 2014

Hansen Unplugged: 248 players better than Sam?

In case you missed it: Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen, who defended Michael Sam when he came out to the nation in February, offered this great editorial earlier this week after Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

May 14, 2014

Sterling seals his fate

The disgraced Clippers owner makes it worse for himself. Magic Johnson responds with class to his insults. Our friend Mark Thompson talks about it with Ari Melber in this clip from MSNBC.

May 11, 2014

Indelible moment


There are certain public events that become indelible in our memory. One such is the moment when Pee Wee Reese stopped a baseball game during a road trip, walked over to his Dodgers teammate Jackie Robinson, and put his arm around his shoulder in silent rebuke to the racist fans who were screaming epithets at the brave man who broke the color line in baseball.

The moment captured in the above screen shot from ESPN, from 7 pm EDT on Saturday, May 10, 2014, is such a moment for me. As the headline writer at HuffPost (see below) perceived, it was a defining cultural moment. Collective expectations will change, including for sexual minority children and youth who will see themselves validated and affirmed by this natural expression of celebration and release.

Of course we will move on from this moment; but it will always remain as a milestone of our journey toward freedom and equality. Maybe it is easy to take for granted now, at least for those of us in liberal urban enclaves or college towns; but, as Sidney Poitier said as he accepted the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies of the Field from Anne Bancroft, "It is a long journey to this moment."

In our lives, the moment flies past us and is gone. In our memories, it is a bright flash that illuminates all around it, and sustains us in moments of setback and frustration and despair. Do not be intimidated or embarrassed or ashamed by the belittling and dismissive comments of those who find it necessary to treat this moment as nothing, who suggest that we are silly drama queens for making a big deal of it. It damn well is a big thing. Is it everything? Of course not. That moment between Reese and Robinson, or the one between Bancroft and Poitier, was a milestone, not the end of the journey. We need our milestones.

More pics of Sam and his boyfriend here.




Some of the same people who have fought us tooth and nail every step of the way to prevent this moment (and have not stopped) are now sneering, "What's the big deal?" as if we are pathetic, behind-the-curve fogies for even pausing to celebrate. Well, the 24-year-old defensive end who wept in his boyfriend's arms on TV as he got the call from the Rams -- that guy IS the curve. Countless people spent decades of our lives clearing a path to make moments like this possible. So we're celebrating. At the same time, those decades of struggle--and the need for continued vigilance--take their toll, and I want to smack the shit out of the sneering, dismissive naysayers.

Click here for a video of Michael Sam celebrating by spreading cake on his boyfriend's face and then kissing him. To the patronizing people who say what's the big deal: yes, this is the most ordinary thing in the world. What is new is the ability of gay people to do it without hiding. If that is nothing, why did so many of us have to spend so much of our lives fighting for it? I say to the naysayers: to hell with you.

May 10, 2014

Michael Sam gets the call

Joy and history have never been more closely linked than in this moment, when Michael Sam got the call from the St. Louis Rams that he is in the NFL.

The video of the announcement is here.

Michael Sam drafted by St. Louis Rams

(Photo by Darron Cummings/Associated Press)

Michael Sam today became the first openly gay player in NFL history as he was picked by the St. Louis Rams in Round 7 of the NFL 2014 draft. NYT reports.

I spent seven hours Saturday hanging on every pick. It took until nearly the end, but it finally happened. This is a happy day. Here's to the many young people whose prospects will brighten at this news, whose hearts will be lifted by hope, and whose confidence will grow. Thank you, Rams, and bravo to Michael Sam.

May 09, 2014

Michael Sam signs with Visa

The NFL draft is underway. As we watch and wait for Michael Sam to make history, here is his new commercial for Visa, with whom he has signed an endorsement deal.

As nfldraftscout.com reported on May 7:

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam was named the Arthur Ashe Courage Award winner. The honor goes to athletes or contributors who transcend sports. Sam will receive the award at the the 2014 ESPY Awards on July 16. Sam was SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year. He announced in February that he is gay, making him set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL. ESPN said in a statement it is honoring Sam for "his courage and honesty that resonates beyond sports." "I'm very honored to be presented with the Arthur Ashe award," he said. "It is about courage. You know I don't think there is anything courageous I did. I look forward to when we can live life in a world when gays don't have to come out in public."

Meanwhile, Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch reports that a DC lobbyist named Jack Burkman threatens a "relentless" boycott effort against any team that signs Sam. Get ready to order your Michael Sam gear from whatever team drafts him.

May 02, 2014

How Kevin Johnson Influenced the Donald Sterling Ruling

Michelle Rhee's hubby does good.

April 29, 2014

Magic Johnson on Clippers Owner Donald Sterling

NBA legend Magic Johnson reacts to racist statements by longtime L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling's offensive remarks can be heard here. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will hold a press conference on his investigation into the matter this afternoon.

Magic, of course, is right. Sterling must go.

Speaking of Magic and respect for others, below is a clip from last year of Magic talking about his son E.J. coming out.

Eat your heart out, Elian Gonzalez

British swimmer Adam Walker was joined by a pod of dolphins on April 22 as he crossed New Zealand's Cook Strait as part of a fundraising competition to help the conservation of whales and dolphins.

Walker's YouTube page states:

Swim coach Adam Walker is swimming the hardest 7 oceans in the world the Oceans Seven in aid of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity (http://www.justgiving.com/swim4whales). Adam is set to be the first British person to complete the Oceans Seven and only four people in the world have completed it so far! With the English Channel, Gibraltar Straits, Catalina Channel, Molokai Strait, Tsugaru Strait and now the Cook Strait under his belt, Adams final swim of the seven takes place this August in the Irish Sea. Check Adams website for more details http://www.oceanwalkeruk.com

Walker spotted a great white shark swimming beneath him at about the time the dolphins surrounded him. So they may have been protecting him. They stayed with him for over an hour, until after the shark left. What a beautiful encounter with another intelligence, not on a distant world orbiting Proxima Centauri, but in Cook Strait. How we can allow such wonderful creatures to be enslaved in water parks I do not understand.

(Hat tip: Rob Neighbour)

April 25, 2014

Jason Collins named one of Time's "100 Most Influential People"


Openly gay NBA player Jason Collins has been named by Time as one of the "100 Most Influential People." Here is part of the citation by his former Stanford classmate, Chelsea Clinton:

Jason’s kindness and fierceness alike derive from that word too often bandied about and too rarely true: integrity. Jason has always maintained he’s first a basketball player. He is. But he’s also a leader and an inspiration. For Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon and others whose names we may never know. And also for those of us lucky enough to be fans — or to call him our friend.

April 09, 2014

UMass guard Derrick Gordon comes out

Cyd Zeigler of OutSports interviews sophomore shooting guard Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts, who came out to his teammates. Kudos to this young man, and to those who helped him.


March 06, 2014

Russian LGBT athletes hold Open Games despite official harassment, cancellations

I missed this item from WaPo when it came out on Sunday. Good for the U.S. Embassy and the Russian athletes.

(Hat tip: Lisa Keen)

March 04, 2014

Jason Collins makes Brooklyn home debut

From Monday night's game against the Bulls, Jason's first game on the Nets' home court. The Nets fans gave Number 98 a standing ovation when he entered the game. This makes me so proud and happy I could bust.

March 02, 2014

David Ortiz would welcome a gay teammate

(Photo courtesy USA Today Sports)

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says, "It’s the (expletive) 21st century, man. Get over it."

Here's sending Big Papi a big wet smooch. If there is anyone in professional sports that I especially wanted not to be a homophobe, it is this big-spirited man who got a pass from the FCC for an f-bomb on television last April in Fenway Park, and who is the heart and soul of his championship team.

February 28, 2014

Collins scores in Nets win, expected to play for rest of season

Nets center Jason Collins scored his first points as an openly gay player Thursday night in his team's 112-89 win over the Denver Nuggets. He also met with the parents and brother of Matthew Shepard, whose death in 1998 inspired Collins to wear the number 98 on his jersey. He gave one of his jerseys to the Shepards after the game. He is reportedly likely to be signed for the rest of the season.

The 12-year NBA veteran has proven his ability to play. That he is so poised and photogenic makes him very well suited to his role as a gay pioneer.

February 25, 2014

Michael Sam responds to anti-gay lobbyist

NFL draft prospect Michael Sam has a few words for anti-gay lobbyist Jack Burkman, who is proposing legislation in the U.S. Congress to ban openly gay players from the NFL:

February 23, 2014

Brooklyn Nets sign Jason Collins

Congratulations to Jason Collins for becoming the first active openly gay player in NBA history by signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Look for him to suit up tonight for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted:


February 10, 2014

The little snowflake that couldn't

Let's hear it for Suzie Snowflake's brave protest at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, where she refused to open into an Olympic ring.

NFL draft prospect comes out


Business Insider reports on NFL draft prospect Michael Sam coming out, which prompted some anonymous criticism from football staffers but also official praise from the NFL:

In all likelihood, Sam will become the first openly gay NFL player when he's drafted in April.

Sam came out to his Missouri teammates before the 2013 season. They supported him, and the team went 12-2 in the SEC. There were not locker room issues.