Out magazine's cover story on openly gay NFL player Michael Sam includes this patriotic shot that will have lots of people saluting.
Out magazine's cover story on openly gay NFL player Michael Sam includes this patriotic shot that will have lots of people saluting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RWW reports on the latest in the right wing's Michael Sam Derangement Syndrome.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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:
Jack Burkman is going to need a Delorian, not some bogus bill, if he wants to prevent gay athletes from being in the locker room— Michael Sam (@MikeSamFootball) February 25, 2014
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:
We welcome @jasoncollins34 to Brooklyn and applaud his courage. RT if you're proud Brooklyn will be emblazoned across his jersey.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) February 23, 2014
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.
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.
(Hat tip: Joe Jervis)
Russia has done similar things recently. Andranik Migranyan says that the majority of Russians want a law outlawing "homosexual propaganda". In this country we have a Bill of Rights that protects people who say things that the government or a majority of the public doesn't like.
Russians have a long history of authoritarian rule from the tsars through the Soviet Union and on to Putin. But as unrest about his continued reign grows (he has been in office far longer than their constitution allows) he needs to appeal to outside groups to maintain his power. And one of those is the Russian Orthodox Church. Giving support to this law has strengthened the churches support of Putin. On this issue opinion outside of Russia counts little.
This update on a classic Coke commercial by Queer Nation NY is a powerful indictment of its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics. I'm surprised that Coca Cola's lawyers haven't yet squashed it. Bravo to the folks who put this together.
Below is the trailer for Queer Nation NY's short film, The Road to Sochi. As you watch it, remember that there are people who are more offended by this kind of film than by the world's participation in Putin's Olympics. I mean, we cannot abide rudeness! Back in the 1960s, many Americans were outraged by singer Eartha Kitt's use of an appearance at the White House to protest the murderous, colonialist, and futile Vietnam War in front of President Johnson. She was blackballed for it. At this very moment, all around us are people who consider it obvious that following protocol trumps impolitic truth-telling. Otherwise, advocates for social justice would not have to work so hard. It's not that people cannot hear. They don't want to listen. That makes them much worse than sheep.
Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who has been deaf since the age of 3 (and shown above in a Duracell commercial), responds to a deaf girl's letter. Beautiful and inspiring.
CNN's Piers Morgan and Rachel Nichols discuss Nichols's interview with Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, whose pass deflection in the NFC championship game against the 49ers sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Sherman was on the field of play, and used no foul language in his rant. By contrast, people calling him a thug, a monkey, and worse on Twitter are revealing how racism persists under the surface and needs little provocation to unleash. In his interview with Nichols, Sherman reveals what a smart and thoughtful guy he is.
First lady Michelle Obama makes a video on healthy eating with members of the Miami Heat. If this doesn't make you smile, check yourself for a pulse. This is just delightful.
Bottom line: a superb athlete on the field of play is pumped up after just helping his team get to the Super Bowl, and people are scandalized though he did no cursing? Please! the above video (story here) shows Sherman's impressiveness.
(Hat tip: Kwame Brown)
A senior Italian IOC member criticized the United States on Wednesday for including openly gay athletes in its official delegation for next month's Sochi Olympics.
"It's absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established)," Mario Pescante said at an Italian Olympic Committee meeting in Milan on Wednesday, in comments widely reported by Italian media. "The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily."
Sorry, Mr. Pescante, but the situation is inherently political, as it was in Berlin in 1936. Politics is an aspect of human interaction. It is not a detachable accessory.
My year-in-review for 2013 was published before the news broke of Her Majesty's Alan Turing pardon; but it was already a jam-packed year for the LGBT community. Here are a few excerpts:
2013 was a momentous year for the LGBT community, with nine states (California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Utah) joining the marriage equality ranks; landmark marriage rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court; the Social Security Administration making it easier for transgender people to obtain Social Security cards reflecting their true gender identity; strong moves in sports and the arts; and Presidential Medals of Freedom awarded posthumously to Bayard Rustin and Dr. Sally Ride….
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered historic rulings in the Windsor and Perry cases, overturning the federal denial of recognition to same-sex marriages and restoring marriage equality in California. Edith Windsor, whose irrepressible personality made her the perfect "poster girl" for marriage equality at age 84, was a finalist for Time's Person of the Year….
The cause of marriage equality grew more bipartisan in 2013, when former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman organized a pro-equality amicus brief in the Perry case signed by more than 100 Republican officials; Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) endorsed marriage equality after learning his son was gay; and former president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara served as witnesses at the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Maine.
The year's remarkable string of marriage equality victories ended on an exhilarating note when U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby, an Obama appointee, ruled Utah Measure 3 unconstitutional, setting off a rush of same-sex couples to county clerk's offices in the conservative state ahead of an expected stay of the ruling. Shelby deliciously cited Justice Antonin Scalia's bitter dissents in Lawrence and Windsor to bolster the argument in favor of marriage equality.
I also touch on sports, the arts, and the international front. Read the whole thing here.
19-year-old British Olympic diving star Tom Daley announces that he has a boyfriend.
That quote is from Red Sox catcher David Ross, referring to #34, Big Papi, Boston's designated hitter David Ortiz. Above is Papi's grand slam from ALCS Game 2 against Detroit on October 13. (BTW, Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter, who went over the wall after the ball, is fine.) During the current World Series, Ortiz tied a World Series record by reaching base in nine consecutive at-bats. So far he is batting a phenomenal .733 in the series, and he is a contender for Most Valuable Player. During game 4, he rallied his teammates with an impromptu speech in the dugout.
The Dominican American slugger gained a bit of broadcasting notoriety last April 20 at Fenway Park when, speaking for the team before the first home game after the Boston Marathon bombing, he said, "This is our fucking city. Nobody is going to dictate our freedom." Shortly thereafter, FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski gave him a pass by tweeting from his official FCC account, "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius."
The great-spirited player and team leader does have a temper, as shown below in a clip from July, when he responded to a strikeout call during a game against the Orioles in Camden Yards by smashing the dugout phone with his baseball bat. But he is also gentle with babies.
Rod 2.0 shares this:
Football diva, sporno hotness, animal rights activist pin up star and homoerotic superhero slash fiction fantasy hotness Chad Johnson adds yet another hyphen to his ever-expanding skill set: Movie star.
The former Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was spotted last week shirtless on the set of Overtown, a low-budget independent drama currently in production and that is being filmed in Miami. The film is directed by Cess Silvera and is scheduled for a 2014 release.
The above audio clip is from Linda Harvey's interview with Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Click here for more.
Bob Costas is right. As for those who said that halftime is not an appropriate time to bring up the issue, what they really mean is they don't want to hear it, period. Well boo hoo. Former GLAA President Mitch Wood says he calls the team "The R-Words." I like it.