MLB targets bullying with ‘Shred Hate’ program

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner meets school kids participating in the Shred Hate program on the field at Nationals Stadium. Photo courtesy of MLB.

On May 23, about 250 students from 11 D.C. public and charter schools met Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner at Nationals Stadium, and about 25 of them joined Turner on the field shortly before the start of the game between the Nationals and the San Diego Padres.

In addition to talking about baseball, Turner talked to the middle and high school students about a subject he said he knows about personally – bullying and a program sponsored by Major League Baseball and the ESPN TV sports network to prevent bullying in the nation’s schools.

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NFL prospect Derrius Guice says a team asked if he likes men

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NFL prospect Derrius Guice says that while at the NFL Combine, his sexuality was questioned.

Guice, who is a LSU running back, shared on SiriusXM’s “Late Hits” that he was asked about his sexuality during the scouting process.

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Former Red Sox pitcher joining conservative Breitbart News

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Former Major League pitcher Curt Schilling is joining the Breitbart News Network as host of the conservative organization’s first online radio show.

The former Boston Red Sox World Series hero, who has said he’s considering a challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, will start his two-hour call-in show on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.

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ESPN’s “Body Issue” to include first transgender athlete

By : Wire Report
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ChrisMosier_MugNew York (AP) – Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, 12-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade and NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will be featured in ESPN The Magazine’s eighth annual “Body Issue.”

Other athletes photographed include NFL stars Antonio Brown and Vince Wilfork, UFC champion Conor McGregor, WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, swimmer Nathan Adrian, beach volleyball Olympian April Ross, soccer player Christen Press, wrestler Adeline Gray, boxer Claressa Shields, and retired diver Greg Louganis. Duathlete Chris Mosier is the first transgender athlete to appear in the issue.

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ESPN fires Curt Shilling for transphobic Facebook post

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Bristol, Conn. (AP) – ESPN announced that it has fired network analyst and former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling following his comments on Facebook about transgender people.

The network released a statement saying, “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

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Caitlyn Jenner’s emotional ESPY Awards acceptance speech

By : Billy Manes
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As you may have heard, Caitlyn Jenner accepted ESPN’s ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award last night. “The last few months have been a whirlwind of experiences and emotions,” she said, following a 15 minute tribute video that highlighted Jenner’s former career as an Olympic champion.

“I had never met a trans person [before],” she said after making a few jokes about the fashion police coming after her Versace dress.

But Jenner’s tone turned fairly and rightfully serious shortly thereafter, highlighting suicide rates and suicide stories from the trans community. She spoke of the responsibility of the spotlight and the responsibility of the media in highlighting “a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are.” It’s pretty amazing to see this in our times. Please, if you have a minute and a tissue, watch the link below.

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WNBA player Brittney Griner announces annulment from pregnant wife

By : Staff Report
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WNBA player Brittney Griner filed for an annulment from wife and fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson June 5,  just 28 days after their wedding and one day after Johnson announced her pregnancy, according to Buzzfeed News.

The two women got married on May 8, three weeks after they were both arrested in Arizona for domestic violence charges. According to ESPN, Griner plead guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and will enter a domestic violence diversion program as condition of her plea, and Johnson plead not guilty.

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Michael Sam to appear on season 20 of DWTS

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Michael Sam will strut his stuff as one of the cast members for the upcoming 20th season of “Dancing With The Stars.” It was announced Feb. 24 Sam will be on the show, paired with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd.

Sam was the first openly gay drafted NFL player, who was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round but released before the start of the season. He later signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad and was then cut in October 2014.

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Australian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe confirms he’s gay

By : Wire Report
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SYDNEY – Five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Ian Thorpe for the first time publicly confirmed that he is gay during a television interview July 13, ending years of speculation about his sexuality.

Thorpe, who had long denied that he was gay, told British talk show host Michael Parkinson in an interview broadcast on Australia’s Channel 10 that he just recently realized the truth about himself.

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Rams sign Sam to four-year contract

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Earth City, Mo. – Michael Sam has once again made history and is now the first-ever openly gay player in the NFL. The University of Missouri-Columbia MVP was drafted in May by the St. Louis Rams and was signed June 12, along with the entire 2014 draft class.

Through a tweet on June 12, the Rams organization announced that it had signed all 11 players selected by the team in the 2014 NFL draft, including Sam. A first-team All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, Sam signed a four-year, $2.65 million contract, with $46,000 of it guaranteed, reported Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. All of the Rams’ rookie signees went through some financial education before signing their deals.

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Collins cites only one incident of anti-gay taunts

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New York- Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player, said he has been the subject of taunts from only one opponent in the month since his groundbreaking debut.

The 35-year-old US 7-footer has played in the NBA since 2001 but revealed after last season that he was gay. He remained unsigned until the Nets, with whom he twice reached the NBA Finals, signed him last month.

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Gay advocacy groups join forces for sports equality

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When former University of Missouri defensive end and potential NFL draft pick Michael Sam shared that he was gay on ESPN’s Outside the Lines in February, representatives from GLAAD and You can Play Project saw a chance for a transformative moment.

GLAAD, which promotes a positive and accurate media portrayal LGBT people, helped You Can Play and its executive director, Wade Davis, craft a message on the importance of LGBT visibility and acceptance in sports.

“It was a time where GLAAD really stepped in there said, ‘Hey Wade, let us handle the media aspect of it, and we’ll really work as a team to talk about messaging,'” Davis told USA Today.

Five weeks after Sam’s announcement, the two organizations christened an official partnership that will marry one of the nation’s leading gay advocacy groups with an organization in You Can Play designed to promote equality for athletes regardless of sexual orientation.

With Sam as the latest example, it’s vital now more than ever that organizations like GLAAD and You Can Play unite to help lead the discussion on what has proven to be a controversial topic, Davis said.

“One of the biggest things is that there are so many LGBT athletes who are now stepping out and announcing their sexuality,” he said. “Let’s make sure the reporting on this is done in a way where the story about sports can be told as it intersects with LGBT athletes.”

USA Today quoted Davis as saying, “I’ve always been a firm believer that sports is a space that is accepting of people who are different, whether it’s someone of a different race, a different class, a different religion. So one of our biggest goals is to really shine a light on what effect sports can have on creating better understanding of LGBT individuals.”

For GLAAD, the collaboration with You Can Play marks the first full-scale foray into the world of sports—an arena wrongly labeled as inhospitable to the gay community, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said.

“One of the things that we’d love to do is debunk some of these myths around the locker room issues, and the myth perception that the professional sporting world is homophobic, when in fact it’s a very inclusive world, and it has been,” Ellis said. “I think that played out with Michael Sam. But that trickles down, that myth perception trickles down to the local level, to the soccer fields and the baseball fields in our local communities. We want to make sure that we’re changing that conversation.”

In addition to helping foster a positive image of LGBT individuals in sports, both GLAAD and You Can Play hope an upcoming national campaign can also bridge the gap between sports and the LGBT community.

“It’s also an opportunity for LGBT organizations to really learn about the sports world. I think that was something that was always lacking,” Davis added. “There’s always been this disconnect between sports and LGBT individuals, so we’re really happy that we can combine our forces to educate both sides. So we’re educating the sports world about LGBT individuals and vice versa.”