Top 5 Sports stories of 2013

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sochi Olympics subject to anti-gay law
Throughout 2013, the media talked about the upcoming Winter Olympic games scheduled for Sochi, Russia, in 2014, and how out athletes would handle new legislation making “promoting homosexual propaganda” illegal in that country. No official boycotts of the Olympics have happened yet, but Russian response to concerned athletes have been mixed, to say the least.

Collins, Cruz, Griner and Daley come out
Four well-known athletes shared that they were gay with the world in 2013. Most notably were basketball players Brittney Griner and Jason Collins, who both shared their sexuality in the spring of 2013. Also coming out in 2013 were Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz and British diver Tom Daley.

Tampa softballers shine
Tampa’s softball teams had a strong showing at Florida tournaments in 2013, taking titles at both the Orlando Meltdown and Tampa Gasparilla tournaments. The Tampa Hammerheads took first in the C-division in Orlando’s January tournament and the Gay and Confused won the women’s rec division. In Tampa, the Tampa Beefs took the C-division title in February and the Tampa Ducks won the D-Division.

Trans MMA fighter comes out
The world of Mixed Martial Arts became a den of controversy after fighter Fallon Fox revealed that she is transgender on the Sports Illustrated website this summer. Fox was born male, but had gender reassignment surgery in 2006. Miesha Tate, a UFC female bantamweight, weighed in about Fox’s announcement on ESPN.com, sharing that she would not accept a bout against Fox if it were offered. She cited health concerns.

Hardaway supports marriage equality
Former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway was the first person to sign a petition to get a marriage equality constitutional amendment on Florida’s ballot July 3, which was a surprise considering he admitted he was homophobic during a 2007 radio interview. He said he has evolved and apologized this year, saying his comments were “Truly, truly wrong.”

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