‘Battle of the Sexes’ looks at tennis legend Billie Jean King’s struggle with her sexuality, women’s rights

By : Melissa Murphy of the Associated Press
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She won a Wimbledon doubles title at 17 and married Larry King in 1965 while both were students at California State University, Los Angeles. He studied law and played tennis on a scholarship. Billie Jean studied history and worked two jobs because she had no scholarship, which her husband noted made her a “second-class citizen.”

That epiphany led King to social activism on and off the court. She and eight other women eventually put their careers on the line in 1970 to start the Virginia Slims tennis tour, with the deep pockets of tennis magazine publisher Gladys Heldman and corporate sponsor Philip Morris.

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Gay couple gets engaged at Washington Nationals game

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Nationals fans were able to witness a special moment between couple Ty Fleming and Tyler Garrison on Friday.

The moment Fleming and Garrison became officially engaged was captured during the Washington Nationals versus Pittsburgh Pirates game. The crowd cheered for the happy couple, who even received a congratulations hug from Screech the mascot.

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49ers’ assistant coach Katie Sowers becomes first openly LGBT NFL coach

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers is the first openly LGBT coach in NFL history.

Sowers, 31, first entered professional football as a player on the Women’s Football Alliance. In 2016, she became an intern with the Atlanta Falcons’ scouting department. Sowers caught the attention of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who was working with the Falcons as an offensive coordinator. She was hired as an assistant coach for the 2017 season.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay softball leagues celebrate milestone anniversaries this season

By : Steve Blanchard
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For more than two decades, LGBTQs in Central Florida have enjoyed friendship and sportsmanship on the softball field. The area’s two largest leagues are celebrating milestones this fall season.

The Suncoast Softball League in Tampa celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and the Central Florida Softball League will mark its 20th year when the first pitches are thrown out this fall. Besides their incredible growth over the years, both leagues have plenty of reasons to celebrate their respective milestone anniversaries in 2017.

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WNBA star Sue Bird comes out, reveals she’s dating Megan Rapinoe

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird has come out as gay and revealed she has been in a relationship with U.S. Women’s National Team’s player Megan Rapinoe since last fall.

“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. … These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird told ESPN. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret. That was never the case for me.”

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Atlanta United fan sparks outrage over Pulse comment days before first game

By : Rachel Dececco
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In the spirit of competitive sports, banter between rival teams is expected, but one Atlanta United fan is sparking outrage over a comment made on a Facebook post.

The comment was screenshot and posted in a tweet by Ruckus, an independent Orlando City supporters club, July 19. The comment read “think of [the upcoming game between Atlanta and Orlando] as Pulse part 2.”

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Floyd Mayweather calls Conor McGregor anti-gay slur during press event

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Floyd Mayweather’s press tour with Conor McGregor got especially heated for the crowd when Mayweather hurled an anti-gay slur at McGregor during their London press event.

Mayweather called McGregor a “f*gg*t* which caused the crowd to boo, but McGregor had no reaction. A representative for Mayweather told TMZ that Mayweather’s use of the anti-gay slur was in response to McGregor calling Mayweather a “monkey” off mic. At a previous press event, McGregor also told Mayweather, “Dance for me, boy” in what some people thought came across as a racially charged remark.

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Out Olympian Tom Bosworth breaks one-mile race walk world record

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Out Olympian Tom Bosworth won the one-mile race walk at the London Anniversary Games on Sunday with a recorded time of 5:31.08, setting a new world record.

The 27-year-old athlete broke the previous 27-year record by almost six seconds.

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Ex-Patriots player Ryan O’Callaghan comes out as gay

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Former Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan has come out as gay and opened up about his drug addiction and suicidal thoughts as a result of hiding his sexuality.

In an interview with Outsports, O’Callaghan explained he knew he was gay since junior high school. O’Callaghan, 33, says growing up around homophobic language scared him from telling the truth about his sexuality.

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FIFA targets gay slurs by Chile, Mexico fans in Russia

By : Wire Report
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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — In a bid to rid the World Cup of gay slurs, FIFA will get tough with Latin American fans in Russia.

FIFA has ordered tighter monitoring of offensive incidents at Confederations Cup matches which kicked off June 17, and wants referees to stop play if fans persist.

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World OutGames sporting events abruptly cancelled

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — The organizers of the World OutGames in Miami on Friday abruptly announced they have cancelled almost all of its sporting events.

“It is with deep regret that due to financial challenges, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance and soccer,” said the organizers in an email they sent to participants.

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Fundraiser launched for Ryan Getzlaf’s homophobic slur fine

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The National Hockey League (NHL) has opted to not suspend Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf for using a homophobic slur during Game 4 at the Western Conference finals on Friday. Instead, Getzlaf has been given the maximum fine of $10,000.

Getzlaf was caught on camera appearing to call the referee, “f**king c***sucker.” He issued a public apology but OutSports’ Cyd Zeigler calls it, “the worst non-apology for a slur in sports history.”

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